I Aten’t Dead

by Rachel

I’m going to try something new.

As some of you may have noticed, I went pretty much inactive without warning and stayed that way for a long time. There has been a slow evolution of how I write and how I think about my writing since I started posting it publicly. Over time, I have grown even more anxious and self-defeating than I was to begin with, and one thing I know for sure is this: at some point, I started being more concerned about whether what I wrote was “good” than whether it was honest. As I gained followers, I became more and more self-conscious about what I was posting, and the harder I tried to write things that were “good”, the less honest and–of course–the less genuinely good they became. I have never been a reliable judge of the quality of my own work, but I know when I’m putting together words to sound pretty and not to say something.

Here’s the thing: I think (I’m pretty sure? I hope?) that most of you are here because of the things I wrote when I was opening a goddamn vein and letting the poison out. Please don’t think I’m condemning editing pieces and spending time on them. I’ve written a whole lot of honest things I didn’t post because I knew they needed work, or they weren’t interesting, or they were simply, objectively bad. Still, to me there’s no point to working on something if it wasn’t genuine in the first place.

I would dearly love to come back and start posting on here again, and I will–but I need to spend some time writing things that no one is going to see. I have to re-learn what my voice sounds like after all this time. I doubt it’s the same as it was a few years ago. I will be, however, slowly but surely coming back. I’ll be posting more prose along with the poetry because–Well, partly because I’ve been trying way too hard at the poetry thing and it’s showing, but also because this is my blog and I wanna. So there.

I keep thinking of a blog post author Libba Bray wrote in 2014 from the depths of a major depressive episode. “This is all I know to do,” she wrote.

This is all I know to do.

All my life, stringing words together has been the only way I’ve been able to hold onto myself in times and places when everything seemed to be trying to erase me. I feel like I’ve lost that. You guys, I can’t write anymore. It scares the living shit out of me. Today is also the anniversary of Terry Pratchett’s death–the author behind the title of this post and also a man without whom I would not be the person I am today–and he wrote that the point of a balloon is to teach small children that “there are times in life when people must know when not to let go”. I lost of my share of balloons when I was little, but I guess I didn’t learn my lesson. I forgot that if you want something to stay, you have to treat it as if it won’t. I let go.

Though I don’t know where I intend to go from here, I’m not fucking okay with that.

So. I want to thank all of you that are still here to read this (even if it’s just because you were too lazy to go through and get rid of the inactive writers on your follow list. I feel you.). Thank you for giving me your time. I hope one day to deserve it. I also want to at least endeavor to explain myself (which I have done) and tell you that–while it may not be quite the same as it’s been–I’m coming back. All my love to all of you. You’re worth it.

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