December 1, 2016

These Stories cannot be Held Back: my Writing Manifesto.

Unsplash/Dustin Lee

Writing can be grueling. And some days, it feels incredibly pointless, but I sit here and continue.

We cannot force anything worth creating—magic, love, art—but we can force ourselves to sit our ass down and do the work. For me, that means writing every day, even if I have nothing to say, filling up the dollar store notebooks with my pen scratching at the surface of human experience—my human experience.

I sit on cold tile next to the black, grey and orange cat with yellow eyes. I sit on airplane seats just large enough for my small frame to curl into. I sit in bustling coffeeshops, in the heat of summer and during the harsh Canadian winter, and I write.

I sit here, and I write because this is what I feel I must do from the inside. It is not an external compulsion—trust me, I know this. The few dollars in my bank account know this. The ego sting of my last piece getting 500 views knows this. Yet, I write because it makes me feel alive. The view count and dollar count will never alter this truth. I will fill up the world with my words even if it is for nothing. I have multiple crutch jobs. I am not afraid of this. I want to work, and work hard, and come home and do my work—this work. Even though writing may not always feed my ego, my wallet or even my stomach, it feeds my hot, beating heart.

I want to drink up the world, digesting all of its people and places, and I want to love, hard. I want to paint this world with my pen and write the essence of my experience, for I wish to be remembered long after I’m gone, as I wish what we all ultimately wish—to be seen, and through being seen, to serve.

And even if I am interrupted, writing on a break from work and am called back into the now by those who need me and support me—even then, I will come back to the half-finished sentence and pray the words don’t leave.

My love language is words, and I can get completely drunk off the liquid of a lover’s words. I remember the pain of hurtful words thrown carelessly in my direction as a child. I have always been able to get lost for hours in the valleys of another’s words on paper—always searching for more when I am faced with the final page, the backside of a book I did not want to end. I want others to get lost in my world, just as I want to get lost in theirs, for this is how we connect with one another. I will not be shy with my voice, for I have spent years being shy with my presence.

I will write endlessly for days, and months, and years. I am sometimes scared the words will stop, but they will not stop until I do. Even if my pen runs out of ink, the words will not run out, for they are in the lines of my body, the layers of my skin, the cells of my blood and the marrow of my bones. They are in me, as I am in them. If the pen of my mind runs out of ink, I will know it is not because I am not a writer, but it’s only because I am too tired and need rest, or perhaps because I have fed myself too much caffeine and too little food, or maybe because I need physical touch and care. I will take care of my body to take care of my craft for they are one and and the same.

I will write drunk, my blood filled with the red wine of new love, and my eyes filled with lust and desire. I will write stone-cold sober with heartbreak, when feeling everything is too much, and I will feel it all. I will write in the small hours of the morning before the world is awake, before I have done anything else at all. I will write for my heart’s breakfast, lunch and dinner and put my expectations to bed for I do not promise to inspire, move or arouse others—I only promise to do the work.

And when my hand aches and the ink fades—when I feel there is nothing left to say, but write anyway—I will know that this work is for me. Even if these words never make the leap from ink and paper to digital dots of text for an online audience—that is okay, for I do not write to please anyone. I write what bleeds through my heart to my pen and onto the expansive pages of this world, for these stories cannot be held back by the barriers of my skin any longer.

I write because it is like breathing, and I do not breathe for you.



Author: Annabelle Blythe

Images: Unsplash/Dustin Lee

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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