Writing My Guts Out

Writing My Guts Out

While writing in the studio on Friday, my critic began to rear her ugly head (why is my critic a woman?!) and I worked hard to overcome her.  I let her have her say, I didn’t try to repress or ignore her.  I gave her only 5 minutes to say everything that she could in those 5 minutes, but then I cut her off.  In those 5 minutes she reminded me of my big fear of actually putting words to paper — the permanence of such an act–and being judged for those words.  She then proceeded to tell me that I had nothing new to say.  She then didn’t hold any punches and reminded me that there is always going to be someone smarter, better, and wittier than me…so why even try.

I then reminded myself that all the great writers say to write what you know…and so I did.  And what follows is what came to mind…

…a little prose, a little poetry.  I reminded myself that my words (and the form they take) do not have to fit into a prescribed mold.  I am the creator and I make the rules.  My fingers began to furiously fly across the typewriter.  The *bing* coming faster and faster…  this is what I discovered:

I Know What It’s Like…

I know what it’s like to walk on The Great Wall of China and to swim with wild sharks.

I know what it’s like to walk 40 miles in a week and shake hands with a world leader.

I know what it’s like to witness death and the final breath and help bring life and the first breath into the world.

I know what it’s like to pee in the woods and to receive a 5-star spa treatment.

I know what it’s like to sit in a nursing home with someone who doesn’t remember your name.

I know what it’s like to testify in a murder trial (and to know I sold the murderer his weapon).

I know what it’s like to make fresh pear bread from scratch and to surprise someone with flowers.

I know what it’s like to stand in a blizzard and to walk a beach in solitude.

I know what it’s like to share a love with someone that goes beyond physical attraction and to share a sunset with a stranger.

I know what it’s like to have to ask for money and what it’s like to freely give it away.

I know what it’s like to bear heartbreak that 12 years later can still make me cry.

I know what it’s like to knit a hat, take a photograph, sew a dress, and create a piece of jewelry (that only I end up liking).

I know what it’s like to type on a typewriter and to tie a bowline knot.

I know what it’s like to hook a red fish in the middle of the Gulf and to have your hair stand up on a mountaintop.

I know what it’s like to build a house and balance a checkbook.

I know what it’s like to lose a pet.

I know what it’s like to run 10 miles (without stopping).

I know what it’s like to get a ticket.

I know what it’s like to eat a freshly hand-made tortilla and pay $25 to use a flooded bathroom.

I know what it’s like to ride on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle in a foreign country.

I know what it’s like to hitchhike in the mountains.

I know what it’s like to be sexually harassed by your boss (and to be pinned down in a utility closet).

I know what it’s like to be rescued from a mountain (because of my own poor judgment).

I know what it’s like to read a book in one sitting and to go backstage at a concert.

I know what it’s like to speak to a crowd of over 200.

I know what it’s like to cook a lobster purchased around the corner and within 2 hours of leaving the ocean.

I know what it’s like to mail letters for 3 years to the same person.

I know what it’s like to drive across the country and to be on a plane for more than 12 hours.

I know what it’s like to not belong.

I know what it’s like to be grateful and jealous (and in the same breath).

I know that what I know is mine, and only mine, and it can never be taken from me.

3 comments

  1. I just found your blog and scrolled through your posts for a bit before coming across this one in particular and i would really like to thank you for writing and sharing this. I felt emotions while reading this that I have never experienced and it was incredibly inspiring. If it’s alright with you I would love to write my own “I Know What It’s Like.” If I ended up posting it to my own blog I would give you full credit for the idea and inspiration:) even if you wouldn’t be comfortable with that I understand, but I’m really glad you shared your experiences with us and I am so glad I came across this today, it is exactly what I needed to see.

    1. I’m so glad this piece connected with you! I would LOVE for you to write your own “I Know What It’s Like” piece and I can’t wait to read it!

      You’ve made my day!

      1. Awesome!! I’m glad I could make your day:) it may take me a while to figure it out since I’m fairly new at the whole blogging thing, but I’ll definitely find out how to link you to the page once I write it and get it up. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply to twinklinglightsandtulle Cancel reply