From a Soup Kitchen Writer

Dear Writing,

Dearest writing! Lovely stream of words on the page! Why do you run into hiding when we get near other writers? I understand it’s not the writers themselves, necessarily, but the Big Writing Events where they congregate. What scares you about those events? What pierces your heart, what paralyses you, makes you mute? For myself, I feel I will be found out, proven a fraud. Something will be expected of me that I won’t be able to deliver. They will see through my shell like a pane of glass, I will be exposed and found wanting. That is my fear. Ungrounded in any lived experience but undeniable in feeling. Have you piggybacked onto my fear? Have you let my neuroses infect you? Do not allow it! Lovely writing, resist! Your voice is a bell, pure in my heart. Do not let the world squash you, or I will be lost. I rely on you daily to connect me to the things that matter, to keep my head above the waves of the daily grind that threaten always. Writing, you are beautiful. Cool when the fires rage, warm in the dead of night. You are golden in this tarnished world. My solace. My lifeline. Be strong, I will back you. Others may criticize, may say this world should go there, the ending is all wrong. Those are trifles, not the substance of you. You are the ink leaping from my pen, the unseen worlds forming in my mind. We will persevere in the face of Right Writing, Correct Grammar, The Way It Should Be Done. That is balderdash, and we won’t listen to it. Stay with me, my pearl. Together we will brave Big Writing Events, and we might see familiar faces, other writers clutching their sacred boxes of writing, hoping no one will take them or force them open. Shielding them from callous eyes, yet wanting to offer them, their most precious gifts.

Kathy Mitchell April 30, 2008