For six months, I’ve been sitting on several drafts in Medium. Medium is the place I go to share deeply personal pieces of nonfiction, stories about my life. I had a streak of writing when I was first accepted to the platform last Spring and then hit a road block.
My drafts just seemed too personal, too dark. Do people want to read those sorts of things? Would my pieces cause strife, damage to my relationships with family or friends?
Some pieces are just titles, empty documents with a title and an idea taunting me. I don’t feel brave enough to approach the subjects.
Other pieces are fully fleshed out, written in a blur of caffeine or passion. But I can’t bear to re-read them, let alone edit.
I worked on Homeless in my Hometown for two months. It went through seven full revisions, with several people’s feedback. I wanted to write about who I am, and my feeling of displacement. When I released it into the world, right before Labor Day weekend in 2013, I was overwhelmed with positive support and love from my friends. It was the best reaction I could possibly hope for. I didn’t want the piece to blow up or become major news in the blogosphere. I just wanted to create deeply personal connections and share a story some people may have heard but weren’t aware of the the long-after consequences.
The writing process was exhausting. It was emotional. But isn’t that why writers write?
I write for catharsis. My laptop acts as my salvation, saving me from myself. I write to cope with the world around me. I write so I can believe in myself.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to approach those drafts again with a new confidence. After all, even if the finished pieces never see the light of day, they’re written for me. It feels good to have something finished.