For me, writing is like that place in childhood where I didn’t care if my dress was dirty or how many mosquito bites I had. It is that place where curiosity lured me into thorn bushes, though I’d never know my skin had been pierced. The literary world is the place I go to escape things like manners, social expectations, and all the other things we have to remember so often as adults…it’s a shame, that prison cell we’ve all agreed to keep.
People have asked me a lot of questions about my writing, many of them I’ve never considered until asked. Through some of these discussions I’ve realized I have a particularly foul taste in my mouth for both ghost writing and using a pen name. I think it is because I could never bear to write something I wouldn’t put my name by, and could never bear to write something that didn’t have my name by it. Writing is so special to me, and for better or worse, I want my name to be attached to what comes out of me. It’s my chance to be free in front of everybody, not just in a place too many years behind me to count. A free-spirit should not be a memory we revisit in secret. Because I write I never have to grow up all the way, and I can conform as little as I like…and get away with it. I treat the blank page like an unruly child treats the ground, and I want credit for my mess.
I have a journal my mother-in-law gave me one Christmas that has little quotes written throughout it. I was thumbing through it yesterday, and read one that struck a chord. Isadora Duncan writes, “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.” Writing is that place for me, the unkept garden I will not manage. How lucky am I to have such a place? And it’s not fantasy; it’s real, and with me always. There are no rules, just writing. Paper is not governed, and inside, neither are we. Writing is sweet anarchy.