Welcome, one and all, and especially you, Writer-buddy, to your weekly pep and vim and weirdly forced metaphors about writing, designed specifically and also by accident to make you get off your sweet beehive and onto your sweet fingertips and make the words issue forth from your brainular place.
Here’s the thang, person who makes stories appear from the ether, do not worry your angsty little brain with thoughts of old drafts, old stories, abandoned projects or never-used ideas, and especially do not let feelings of inadequacy pass any muster.
All these woes fill up valuable space in that glorious head of yours and push out the things that should be in there—new worlds, new ideas, new people, new tales, new magic, and all things that make humaning so worthwhile.
As we keep banging on about it, writing—and any kind of arting—is the ultimate expression of who we are. It’s your version of what it means to exist in this exact moment in time in this exact universe in this exact set of weirdy-intersections-and-coincidences-and-wtfery.
What you wrote fifteen years ago will not be the same as what you write today, and nor should it be. We’re all treading a path from somewhere to somewhere, and along the way, we’re gathering and learning and growing and forgetting and shrinking and shedding and remembering and, step by step, bite by bite, returning to the glorious centre of stillness in which we all nestle. Your writing is the process of returning home, to finding and describing the place where your heart feels… just so. And that is different, day to day, month to month, year to year.
Fifteen years ago, I wanted nothing more than to marry my then-boyfriend and have ten children and huddle up in a cosy cottage somewhere leafy. All my stories were about love and joy and healing and grief and featured tiny lights twinkling in the breeze.
Today? I want to burn the world down and lead the revolution. I am furious, daily, at the injustice and unfairness that I see in the world. I have had enough of everyone’s bullshit. I signed my divorce papers so gleefully I broke the pen. I have two children, and I will not have any more. My stories are less twinkly, more angry, more urgent.
And yet I won’t regret what I produced before.
I won’t regret the countless abandoned or rejected manuscripts.
I won’t lie in bed late at night cringing at the sentimentality I no longer believe in (well ok I’ll do it once but never again).
I won’t waste my time wishing it had been anything else.
And nor will you.
You are here.
Pick up your pen. Move forward from this point.
Sarah & Team WHQ