Time to Get Real

Lovin’ on You was sent to reviewers a couple of weeks ago, and the feedback has been wonderful. I am so grateful for their kind words and honesty. Something I have enjoyed hearing is how much they enjoy the lyrics throughout the book (wishing these were real songs they could play). I was asked today if I had written all of them, this person knowing I write poetry as well. I did write them all. It was important to me to show how Cash expresses himself without inhibition. Music is that for him.

Every artist has a way to best express him/herself.

Now, I have no musical background, so I can’t say that these lyrics would really make for songs with rhythm, but this is about words. Their vibrations and their meaning. My best way to express myself, whether it be a blog post, a novel, or a poem. Hell, sometimes it’s a simple phrase with a complex meaning.

When I started writing (back when I was a teen), I thought the idea of writing was silly. Who would want to do that? I was that hard thirteen-year-old who as dealing with her own bullshit and didn’t have time to write a poem. But, I was assigned a project at school. We had to write a compilation of poems. *insert huge eye-roll* I thought it was the worst project idea ever. What would I learn by writing a poem?

You caught the part in that paragraph above that said I was dealing with my own stuff, right? Good, because what I learned by writing a poem was everything I was holding inside. What I learned writing multiple poems? A whole universe of pain I was barely keeping hidden. This was a time in my life where I was an emotional mess. The only way to pretend that mess didn’t live in me was acting as a stubborn rebel. Yet, this project exposed to me an entire world of healing. The written word became my savior when I don’t think a therapist at that time would be able to show me light.

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The poems I wrote were ugly, deep, pain-filled. These are not the poems I submitted for my project. These were my dirty, little secrets. These were the ones that would show the world who I really was when I was trying hard to keep that person hidden. So they were mine. For years, I wrote. I have a binder full.

A dam was open through my fingers, and I bled every emotion, every thought. I bled typical thoughts a teen may face when change was coming to her life, and I bled thoughts unfamiliar to the world I was being raised in. One where appearances mattered and people didn’t want to know about pain. Lord forbid you had any thoughts deeper than what dress you were wearing to the dance next month, or who was crushing on who. For a long time I felt like an outcast because everyone else around me didn’t understand why I felt the way I did, so I wrote. I wrote, and I vowed to always help people who felt the same way I did. (I’m not sure I’m winning too much with that vow, but I’m working toward it.)

We never know what people are facing. We don’t know if they have inner struggles they are trying to overcome. A smile can be very deceiving, but an honest one can also be a lifesaver.

I did have wonderful friends at the time, and I cannot discredit that, but at an age where we barely understand the world we’re living in, no one wants to deal with depressing thoughts.

I have debated writing a post along these lines for some time now, and I always chicken out. It’s scary to let people know you have struggled in the past, let them know you have demons you have tried to fight off. The reason I am writing it today is because I feel at a place where I can share this about myself with you. Because maybe you won’t feel so alone if you have felt this way in the past, or feel that way right now. So that you understand that writing for me is therapy. Even today when my smile is genuine. And maybe part of the reason to share this is to remind myself where I came from. It’s grounding to remember the purpose behind my writing when I can so easily lose track of the reason I share my words, and become a follower instead of a leader.

When I wrote Red Lights, Black Hearts, I found the voice of that thirteen-year-old girl who felt so lost. I thought many people wouldn’t enjoy it because it’s not romance. It isn’t pretty. I also debated having that be the last book I publish. I spent a good chunk of time telling myself I was done publishing after this one. This was my exit book. So why didn’t I? Because the same way writing is healing to me, reading is healing to others. If I could help one person feel through my words, I consider myself successful. It’s not about the money, guys. Life is so much more than money and fame. I promise.

I wrote that book for me (I had things I still needed to deal with that I haven’t dared to), the same I have done with all others, even the ones with more humor—man, sometimes I just need to laugh and relax. I write according to my mood, and I can’t apologize for that. I find healing while writing a story because it gives me the possible solution I can’t see on my own.

So many times, okay almost always, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m winging it (and not the eyeliner, can’t wing that for shit). The only thing I know for certain is that I’m here today because I found strength in writing. And that’s scary to admit to an audience of people. However, I want to be more honest with my readers. I want to be more honest with myself. It’s a heavy load to carry when you aren’t. This is about sharing a tidbit about myself and hoping that you find your strength when life gets hard. It’s also about my own healing. Being who I am, unapologetically, and showing that to the world. I’m a loner, so I can easily spend hours alone and stay in my head. That’s not always safe. So this post is also for me to grow and better myself.

My journey with writing may have started a little later in my life, after judging the skill for so long, but it began when I needed it most. I will always be thankful for that project for bringing out of me something I so desperately needed and knew nothing about. I wanted to share part of who I am with you. Thank you for allowing me that.

I’ll end with this thought: Fight hard for who you are because you are worth this life, and when you find your light, you can shine it wherever you go.

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