I hate being a writer sometimes.
Because I know I’m going to have to be vulnerable.
I hate that.
I don't want anyone to get to know me or what I went through just to be entertained, just to critique. Shut up if my word choice is weak when I’m trying to talk about how I almost died when I was 18 because I decided to stop eating altogether.
But this is what I signed up for when I decided to become a writer. The whole point of studying writing is to nod thoughtfully when people tell you that there’s a better way of saying ‘I sometimes get so filled with grief that I want to throw myself from my dorm-room window, but I won’t because my little sister would be sad.”
I hate letting people know things about me, but my writing is centered around opening myself up, spilling my guts out. But I’d rather die than tell you anything about myself.
I’d stitch my organs together if I could.
I’m aware that if I keep this obsessive hold over my idea of privacy, I’ll end up alone. My mom tells me that I should give people a chance. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to give people the opportunity to hurt me. I guess that’s what I'm really afraid of. I have this warped belief that everyone’s out to get me. It’s silly, because I’m nothing special. I’m just like everybody else, but in my head, I'm the only one who has ever felt the way I feel.
Does this fit the theme? Is there enough RAGE here?
What’s the conclusion I'm coming to here, sitting at my desk?
Is it that my fear of vulnerability will hold me back as a writer?
Or is it that I should go to therapy?
I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter what I think, because once you read this, you’ll make up your mind about what you think this is about. Do you ever think of that? How your writing isn’t yours the second someone else reads it? I don't mean that it’s no longer your idea or your beliefs, what I mean is that your intention gets lost if the reader doesn’t know what it is. If what you meant is convoluted, is it still what you wanted to say? Is this narrator still full of RAGE if the editor thinks she’s nervous?
I could’ve come up with a better idea for this essay. Something further away from me. A piece I could easily subtract myself from so that the impending negative reviews will piss me off less. I could say this is experimental writing. I could say the shitty stream-of-consciousness voice was intentional and that this whole piece is ironic. I don’t think you’d believe me. But shut up if you don’t. Everything has an audience.
What kind of voice is this?
Is this RAGE?
Is this sad, a little pissed off?
Or is this just me?
You don’t know. I don’t know, either.
Art by Yi Shen Wei