A Love/Hate Relationship This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     I see the world in terms of stories. I always have. As things are and occur around me, I think of them simply and entirely as characters and storylines. Except it’s not simple at all. It’s the incessant and addictive in-depth analysis of everything. A ballerina can’t just be a ballerina. She can’t just dance because she wants to because I won’t accept that. She has to need to dance because the blisters and bruises and scabs on her bloody feet release the vulnerability and anguish, and because, when she’s swathed in pink tulle and covered in makeup, she’s not herself anymore, so she can finally be herself. She has to dance because she absolutely cannot live without it. I make that the reason she dances.

I script everything in my head all the time. I’m crazy like that. I can’t watch the sun set on the water in July. I can’t be held rapt by the music of New York City while I’m walking down Fifth Avenue. I don’t know how to exist unquestioningly in a moment. I have to think, instead, about how the amalgamation of brilliant colors and the golden footprints the sun leaves on the water as it lowers and the mellifluous noise of garbage trucks and sirens and cement drills and street vendors will look and sound in words.

I don’t get to live in the real world, I have to live on paper. But that’s the onus of being a writer. And I love to write.

I hate to write. It’s tedious. It’s stressful. It’s painful. And it’s too hard. It takes me six hours to write a sentence. I re-write it a million times because it’s not good enough, and when I’m done, it still isn’t good enough. And then I move onto the next sentence. It’s self-destructive. I think everything I write is terrible because I wrote it. And I think everything I write is formidable because I wrote it.

So why do I write? If it’s so excruciating, why put myself through a lifetime of suffering? Because I’m neurotic. Because I’m abnormal. Because I’m a writer.

I write because I’m afraid that when I die my existence will be quickly forgotten and I need proof of my life. I write because I like my coffee strong and black and really hot and only in white mugs. I write because it makes me see the beauty in war and hatred, and the way that raindrops balance on rose petals, swim down the slopes of their stems, and ultimately converge in a river of asphalt. I write because I have something to say. I write because I have nothing to say. I write because it makes ordinary things magical. I write because I know how it feels to be disappointed and proud and irritated and embarrassed. I write because I don’t know how to feel. I write because it’s saner than talking to myself. And because it’s not sane at all. I write because I like the smell of new leather and freshly sharpened number two pencils and vanilla extract. I write because it helps everything make sense. I write because everything is senseless. I write because it’s my passion. I write because it makes me feel deeper and push harder. I write because writing is what sustains me. Because I don’t know how to live. Because it’s the only way I can live.

It’s an illness, an all-consuming disease that plagues my thought process and paralyzes my emotions. It leaves me completely powerless and I can do nothing but succumb to this overwhelming imperium that is my destiny. To write.

I don’t write because I want to. I write because I need to. Because for me, writing is like breathing. And because, without oxygen, I would die.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 3:27 am
i love this so much!
mrittmritt77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm
And although I like nearly everything about it, the very little thing I would change is the concluding statement, the oxygen analogy feels a bit overused in general and cliche :) but again, good job on this.
mrittmritt77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm
I really like this piece :) it describes a lot of writers and its very well written. at times it feels a bit repetitive but otherwise it's an excellent piece
OriginalCarbonation said...
Jan. 1, 2011 at 12:39 am

i really, really, really, REALLY love this! and i really can relate to every word you wrote. it was so inventive and fresh but still flowed well. It made sense but also didnt at the same time, which is perfect because it keeps you thinking as you go back to it and think about it and cant get the words out of your head. As a dancer and an insanely addicted writer, this is exactly what I feel about both those things. I love words just like you. (To some extent its nice to know im not crazy for ... (more »)

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback