Sometimes, getting the words down hurts. It’s like pulling a bloody string from the center of your heart and stretching it out so the whole world can see it as it dripped down your wrists.
There are many reasons as to why this is, and almost all of them are personal things you as the writer just have to figure out how to deal with – or at least, figure out if they’re worth dealing with.
You can always stop writing, you know. So long as you realize that, by doing so, what you are trying to write will never be written.
Right now I’m working on the second draft of a story that’s due at the end of this month. The theme of the submission is “seasons” but in the darker sense – winter taking the life from flowers, roots growing over the corpses of small woodland creatures who didn’t survive the cold, that sort of thing.
The story I set out to write was about a little girl in an abusive home that befriends a fairy in autumn.
The story I actually wrote is about a young woman who is raped by her father and has to decide whether she should answer the call of the autumn court (a fairy tribe that might very well lead her into the afterlife) or try and bring her father to justice in a world that blames victims for the crimes committed against them.
It’s not a happy story, and it’s not an easy story. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but I will say it is a reflection of what is happening in our world today.
Stories like these are important and need to be told again and again if things are ever going to change. More importantly, they need to be told in ways that are different from one another so that the readers can figure out the pattern for themselves.
I was half-way through writing the first draft of this story when I turned to my husband, who was sitting at his desk working on his own projects, to whisper, “this is a Me, Too story.”
He just looked at me with this sadness in his eyes, and slowly nodded his head.
Because he knew.
Because I joined the cries of #MeToo when they circulated the internet in 2015-2016.
And I did not have the strength to do what my character tries to do, because I knew what the outcome would be.
Perhaps that will change, some day. But for me, it will be long after the statute of limitations has been reached.
Sometimes, writing hurts.
But you need to do it anyway.