In all the writing workshops I've taken, and all the conversations I've had with writers or teachers or mentors, they always tell me to write-- just fucking write. Without thinking, without erasing, without wanting to take anything back. Without thinking, why would anyone read this? Why would anyone care? Without wondering if you're just being pretentious by even considering someone might be touched or changed by reading what you've got to say.
This is a difficult thought not to think of.
Whenever a person writes something, anything, it's usually because they're going through something so strong all they can do is try to put it into words. If you're happy, or sad, or royally pissed-- you write it. And then you read it-- five minutes later, or a week, or months or seven years later and you inevitably think- What was I thinking? I was so naive, I was so dramatic, I was so...Whatever.
This always happens.
I thought about this a lot today because I found a quote I really loved. It's nothing incredibly special, but I loved it. And I searched and searched and couldn't find whom it was written by. Finally I found it on Helena Kvarnstrom's blog. And this is what she had to say:
"I wrote this. I wrote this when I was twenty-two years old, right before I got married, right after my partner scraped together $400 to fly to California to live on a boat with me and drive all night to Las Vegas and drink hard drinks in Laguna Beach at ten in the morning and I posted it on Livejournal when I had a very public and alarmingly popular one. That was more than seven years ago and this past fall someone transcribed it, made into a JPG and suddenly it was on ffffound and even more suddenly after that it was on thousands of people's blogs. Literally thousands. But it was credited to Anonymous, which I guess is understandable since seven years is a long time to keep track of who wrote something on a Livejournal. My friend Erin found and told me about it, she had remember it all those years ago and at first I was so embarrassed. Of everything I've made why did it have to be this melodramatic thing, made before I really knew anything at all? IT IS SO MELODRAMATIC. But my possessiveness is greater than my self-consciousness because when I see that some people weren't even going along with Anonymous but saying they wrote it themselves I kind of wanted to claw their eyes out. It's my melodrama. (Although one person credited it to Harvey Milk and that was the best).
Anyway, I wrote that."
It's funny. Sometimes what seems so silly to you can be truly appreciated by someone who would never dare put it into words. Who would never even think of actually saying those words out loud.
Never take back what you've written. You never know where it'll take you.
Kvarnstrom's blog: http://inne.day-lab.com/