You’ll be naked. Not in the literal sense, where a body can be perfected and angles can be utilized and lighting can negate imperfections. It won’t be your legs or ass or chest or stomach on display for strangers to judge and criticize, want or hate. No, it’ll be the thoughts that tremble in buried synapses and cower behind popular opinions. Your soul will be penned behind syllables, dotted with insecurities and crossed with a faltering personality. You’ll be spread open on paper and inspected on computer screens and judged by those who sit comfortably on thrones of anonymity.
You’ll be labeled. You’ll have subjected a population to the woven fibers of your existence and they will inevitably need to know exactly what it is you are. You must be easily definable and properly marked and quickly recognizable, fitting perfectly in their filing cabinet of understanding. If you write about rape, you’ll be a feminist. If you write about shades of lipstick, you’ll be a weak traditionalist. If you write about a woman’s flaws, you’ll be a misogynist. If you write about a horrible experience on a city bus, you’ll be a privileged bitch.
You’ll be poor. You’ll be published with no pay and write poetry on empty pockets and seek comments instead of checks. You’ll wash your hair with hand soap when you can’t afford shampoo, work three jobs to continue living in a matchbox apartment and live on more sodium-infused microwavables than believed humanly possible.
You’ll sell clothes for bills and presents for rent and pride for a seemingly unreachable dream.
You’ll be terrifying. Not in a way that sends children under beds or brings covers up to petrified faces. No, it’s your grasp of the English language that will be threatening. Ex-boyfriends will tremble at the thought of what you may or may not type and ex-best friends will cringe when their reflection is found in the final sentences of your recollection. Romantic interests will be hesitant and family members will be uneasy; and strangers will be weary.
When you’ve built a platform from pages of a tattered past, the ones who glued it all together will fear their own exposure.
You’ll be trapped. Fleeting sentences and rhythmic lines will swirl around a never-ending cognition so fluid; you’ll spend the majority of your existence chasing after it. You’ll live your life one firing thought after the other, racing to the nearest computer or digging for the closest pen in the feeble hope it will all be captured perfectly.
You’ll be a slave to the metaphors and similes and alliterations that breathe life into the creative fingertips that formed them.
However, if you insist. If you believe yourself capable of surviving public nudity and blind judgment. If petrified loved ones and a disordered mind do not deter you. Write. Write endlessly and limitlessly and without fear. Write on a stained table napkin or a sealed love letter or a tattered picture. Just write. Do not bind your thoughts to your veins or trap descriptions behind your ribs. There are countless reasons to forgo the delicate pain of being a writer, yet infinitely more reasons to ignore them.