Nadia Greasley

Writing is the Opposite of Letting Go

Writing came to me later, after I had my children, when I was searching for a medium that would help me reflect on life. Ideas of short stories started to pop up in my head while I was at work, so I began to jot them down in a note book, paying attention to my writing voice. The note books fattened as I wrote extensively about plots and characters. I became a closet writer and collected citations, beautiful words like rare flowers, and plenty of writers’ advice to comfort me.

The dystopian fantasy novel I had sketched out has remained in my drawer; instead, I threw myself into writing a memoir. I attended webinars and workshops and dared putting myself out there and call myself a writer. By submitting essays and lately a short story, I got a few successes buried in a pile of rejections, but as ungrateful as this writing business might be, I have kept going. Not because recognition will rush to me like it rushes to writers, who only have to sneeze to be noticed, but because I have gone from never showing my writing to daring to show it, like a woman who has the nerve to walk on the beach with her flawed body.

I have finished my memoir that still needs editing and when I think of quitting, discouraged I do not have enough time to craft and improve my writing, I think of how it has sustained me. I have pursued writing, stripped from its chocolate cake appeal of fame and money, because it fulfills my need to make sense of people’s life, mine included.

Writing is my chance of replaying life and paying attention to what I have missed, of reflecting about non bogus feelings that may touch others. I cannot let go of that now. It would be like watching myself fall from a cliff. And the more I hold onto writing, the worst that can happen is that I may get better at it.