It always begins like this.
Illuminated by blue morning light, caught in a cloud of cigarette smoke. Hunched over dirty plates in kitchen sinks, with bloodshot eyes and tangled hair. Alone in crowded rooms, squinting into wrinkled notebooks held by ink-stained hands. Or in corners of quiet coffee shops, fueled by not enough to eat and too much caffeine.
Our fingers tap-dance across keyboards on LED lit screens. Searching, marching, creating, bleeding. Furiously expelling all the stories caged by our rib bones, determined to set them free.
When we’re not writing we’re suffocating. Choking on thoughts that don’t make sense in our heads. Drowning in emotions that don’t seem real until we can hold them in our hands.
Writing has and always will be, the only way we truly exhale.
While musicians cry with their guitars and artists dream out loud on canvases, our souls are in our words.
With no symphonies to cloak our voices or abstract colors to shield us, writers paint through paragraphs and sing in sentences. Voluntarily undressing until there’s nothing left to rip off and plastering ourselves on surfaces for all the world to see.
Writers will never be sane because the process itself is torture. We chain ourselves to seclusion for days, grinding layers off our hearts and amputating pain until we feel whole.
One last edit. One last read. One last…
We are the night owls, pacing back and forth across rooms while the world sleeps. Fidgeting in our seats, with tight chests and racing heartbeats. When we can’t find the right words we go into silent frenzies. We wonder if we have anything left to say. If our voices will ever be loud enough. And who on earth would listen, anyway?
But when we’re finished, there is no better relief. Our pieces become trophies of triumph, shelved boldly in the face of self-doubt. We carry our expelled words like tattoos under the layers of our skins; relieved, and proud. Until the next time something or someone irks us to run to our notebooks, that is.
The beauty of writing and its curse is that we never truly know how much our words impact someone. It heals us in ways we’ll never be able to measure.
And teaches us over and over again, just how important it is to never stop opening our heart.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Naomi Hon
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock