they say a writer should keep her feet planted on the floor. she must hold onto something to keep herself grounded. or else she will float away, right up into the clouds. before you know it she’ll be living in her daydreams, so far in her head she won’t be able to hear a word you say no matter how loud you scream, no matter how many times you snap your fingers in front of her face, no matter how many times you tell her to stop being so delusional. she’ll marry those delusions, wear a dress whiter than the wisps of clouds she uses as a throne, and you won’t be invited to the wedding. no, they say a writer needs to look into her own eyes at least once a day. she needs to see herself standing in the mirror. it will help her feel real. it will help her stay grounded.
a writer tends to focus too much on the little things, they say. to a writer, the tiniest things are larger than life. she will craft entire worlds out of empty mailboxes and gravel driveways, get lost in the corn mazes of her own metaphors. remind her that dreams don’t always come true. like she hasn’t heard that a million times before, like the weekly lesson in her creative writing class wasn’t always how you can’t just scribble “writer” on your tax forms, like they don’t always want to know what she’ll do if she isn’t good enough, how will she support herself writing stanzas with strict rhyme schemes. remind her that sestinas won’t satiate her hunger and sonnets won’t pay the bills. remind her that every novel can’t be number one, that not every writer will succeed.
writers, they say, need a reminder sometimes. make sure her feet stay planted on the floor. make sure she stays grounded.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.