The greatest lesson I learned about writing was to treat writing as a conversation. Before then, I thought academic writing was formal, an assignment to turn in to teachers and professors. Writing can have personality! […]
I was standing in front of an arrangement of roses with my uncle. We’d been in the dining room when I asked him if he had a simple piece of advice for me to find inner peace. When we stood in front of these flowers, he started telling me something important about the reason flowers need watering. But I did not let him finish his train of thought because I started crying.
To give you some context, I hadn’t seen my uncle in more than five years (since the last time I visited Mexico. I was a teenager then.). In his interactions with me and our family, his presence emitted, what I’ll call, a spiritual grandeur. In the words of Ada Limon, “I env[ied], I env[ied] that.” I wanted his spiritual grandeur, so I braved myself and asked him for spiritual advice.
I’m with you. Like you I’m waiting for my breakthrough.
Out of frustration and out of inspiration I write here.
First, because even when literary journals or magazines have rejected my works, I refuse to believe that my writing isn’t worth publishing. Second, because Etty Hillesum, a not-so-well-known writer died too young and with her died her dream of becoming an established author. (Eight of her diaries were published in one book, but that doesn’t mean that’s all the writing she had to offer the world.)
I can’t let others write my story. Not anymore. To be honest, I don’t even know that my story is being told.
It has become too dangerous to wait until literary journals or magazines give my work approval. I can assure you that my story like your story is the story someone else is looking for right at this moment.
Lately, I’ve been writing with a combination of more urgency, more purpose, and more transparency.