The fire in my Sunday morning fireplace is the perfect blend of heat, spark and smell.

My favorite book of all time, written by my favorite author of all time is perched in my lap so that it doesn’t block the fire’s heat.

The first time I read it, I was furious because it was the book I was born to write and yet that’s exactly how he described it as well.   It takes me months to get thru it because I hang on each sentence and have to literally swallow the fury that come up from deep inside me that he got to say it first, in that exact way, with total perfection.   To my palate, every word, every sentence, every paragraph.. The formation of every page and concept and idea.. Even the titles and indents and font.. It’s all just perfect, the most beautiful piece of art I’ve ever seen.

God I hate him for that.

After reading it more times than I can count, I thought I’d give up on writing, believing that since this already got said, I didn’t need to bother saying anything else.   But the thing about being a writer is that you don’t get to decide to or not to write.  It comes out of you like a bloody nose, often when you least expect it.

I never set out to be a writer.  I certainly didn’t intend to expose myself to the world.  But we do lots of things we didn’t intend or see coming.

I realize now, I’ve written everyday, in one way or another, for half my life.

Writing is pure torture.

Writing is heaven on earth.

Writing is lonely and achy and vicious.

Writing is as fresh and wonderful as holding a brand new baby.

Writing is nothing, it’s everything.   It’s an orgasm and a bad 1st date.

Sometimes, writing is every emotion you can possibly experience, all within the course of a half hour.

The thing about being a writer is that you either are, or you aren’t… and if you are, how it feels in a certain moment has little merit….   writing isn’t something a writer sits down and tries to achieve.. It’s not a mission or a focus or an area of interest… writing is a inextinguishable fire, a rescue boat in a sea of ideas, an insatiable desire to say something. It’s like screaming from a cliff, launching your rawest most exposed self out into the ocean.

Writers are notorious readers.   We read a sentence four times in awe of how the author strung a series of words together.  Two or three magnificent words can render a writer speechless in awe of the beauty, or horror, depending.

Reading from a writer’s perspective is effortless, we become so fascinated by words and thought we fall away from the rest of the world and hope the buildings not on fire because if it is we won’t notice.  It takes longer for a writer to get thru something than a normal reader… a sentence or phrase or scene can be like a match in a dry field… setting off a torrent of ideas and words that the writer must now lay down into some formation that expresses that part of them that demands the light.

If you aren’t a writer, it doesn’t matter…you can still grasp what it takes…. the guts to expose yourself, commit yourself, to bleed all over the damn place with nothing to stop it.

Very few people are writers, but I really believe everyone should write…  Maybe your writing isn’t with words, maybe it’s paint or dance or the way you mow the lawn and keep a garden or love your kids or serve your world.   Maybe your writing is in the way you share your experiences, the way you fully live, the areas you find the most authenticity.    Maybe your writing is your commitment to tell the truth or work hard at being kind or practicing non-judgment.  Maybe your writing is in a song or playing an instrument or the way you run around a track.   There is no correct way to write, you can’t possibly define writing as “right” or “wrong”…  it’s personal, exclusively yours.

I hear people say they don’t know what to do next, don’t know how to be in the present, they talk of struggle and suffering or wanting joy and peace and I think the answer is they should just begin to write.  Something happens when you sit with a blank screen or white paper and believe you have nothing to say… I think that sacred moment of horror is how you begin to access something deeper within yourself that’s seeking the light.

Sit in the horror a while, write your name over and over, just describe the room you are in or what something smells like.. Just begin, enter the stream and see where it takes you.

Writing found me, the me that was here all along but I didn’t have access to until it found this way out.

My favorite book, the one I hate, it’s called “This Is How” and I really believe if we want the peace and happiness and refuge we talk of, This Is How.. Show up, dive in, expose everything, give it all you got, find your words— whatever they are and let them expose you to the world.

I don’t know, I guess what I’m saying is that If God’s within all of us, isn’t it our obligation to reveal that?

Whatever you do, just be sure to write.

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

― Ray Bradbury

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

― Ernest Hemingway

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”

― Saul Bellow

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

― Anaïs Nin

“We were young. We were bored. And the old electroshock therapy machine was just under the stairs in a box next to the Hoover.”
― Augusten BurroughsRunning With Scissors