Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Set it on fire

I spent a good long time yesterday pouring out my soul in a piece that may never be published. I do that a lot, actually. Sometimes they get edited and posted. Sometimes I just hit the delete button and never look back. Sometimes I enlist the help of trusted friends for guidance and wisdom.

Sometimes I write it just because I need to get the words out, like the proverbial letter scratched out in anger and frustration and sadness then set aflame and tossed ceremoniously in a wastebasket.

I think this one needs to be set on fire.

These things, the hardest ones to write about, sometimes I am not ready to let them out yet. Not here, anyway. I try to always be cognizant of the affect my words might have on others. Even if it will carry some benefit for someone out there reading, I have to worry first about protecting myself, protecting my children. I don't have to protect my parents anymore, but I still need to shield my kids.

This is one of the pieces that could bring with it ramifications. Not horrible ones, but some nonetheless. It contains too many of my truths in one place. Too much of my past. Things I still haven't really worked through myself.

Maybe someday I will be ready. I don't know. This one might stay away from the public forever.

There is so much that you all don't know about me. This piece I wrote, it is one of the parts of me that even most of my best friends in the world don't know about. One of the things that I still carry shame and regret about, though I am trying to forgive myself.

Even with all that, the lesson it all taught me was it was one of the most important I have learned in my life thus far, one that I carry with me every day, one that keeps me writing about the things that people don't always want to read about. A lesson that literally took me twenty years to learn.

I don't always want to write about the hard stuff, but I do it anyway.

Sometimes I don't really have a choice. It comes out or it eats away at my soul.

Making people uncomfortable is my thing, after all. I talk about the truths and the realities that we would rather live without seeing. The things we would rather deny. The things we would rather ignore. The things we would rather rationalize.

Sometimes, though, even I can't do it.

I can't hit the publish button.

I had coffee with someone new yesterday, someone that I met through this bizarre online world, someone that began the day a stranger and ended the day a friend.

She could see it.

My internal conflict, almost constant in my head. Sometimes it comes out here. Sometimes I'm elusive about it all, sometimes I lay it all out for the world to see. The conflict, though, is almost always there.

Thus is the life of a writer. 

If you do it long enough, you end up writing about all of the things. The menial, the mundane, the boring and bland. You write about the important, the significant, the controversial, the real. You write about the truth and the lies, the pain and the loss.

Then there are all the things you keep inside. The stories untold, the secrets kept, the times that you want nothing more than to shout it from the rooftop, but you won't allow it.

You refrain.

I sense that the writers out there will know exactly what I'm talking about, particularly the ones who have been at this long enough to have been sitting where I am right now, staring at the words running across the screen as they come screaming out.

The writers will know what I mean when I talk about the absolute therapeutic value in letting the words out, even just to ourselves, even if no one else ever sees them.

The writers out there will understand what I mean when I say that the words just need to be set on fire.


  1. Thanks to you, and other writers like you, I am becoming more and more brave and honest with what I share. I wrote a piece this morning - it just came out. Normally I would have edited it to death - trying to cleanse it of any language that could have bothered or offended anyone.
    Today I just posted it.
    Thank you. Thank you for sharing and for inspiring.


  3. Yup. I'm having that debate right this minute. I have only started writing it in my head, but don't know if I dare write it for everyone to see. Thanks for your bravery....

  4. Whatever you write and whether it is something that gets "Set on fire", published or deleted is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. The most important thing was what you said towards the end. It has such great therapeutic value to put these thoughts in writing. To see the words, acknowledge what they mean to you, how it hopefully makes you feel better and learn and grow as a person. So many more people should do the same as a form of self-help therapy. It does help.

  5. Thank you for this...I love your writing, and you captured so well what it is to write...just wanted to thank you.


Some of My Most Popular Posts