I am a lady who writes things, as you may have been aware. There are certain crippling insecurities and very real instances of self-loathing that come with being a writer and being a woman, and being both is HOO BOY a real roller coaster ride. Frequently I try to tell myself that the emotional wear of this situation is “in my head” and “not important” and/or “not a real problem,” but then sometimes your friend sends you a link to an advice column from The Rumpus where a lady writes in asking how she can possibly overcome the difficulty of everyday living to be A Writer and the columnist is all YOU WRITE. LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER. I dunno maybe you should read it. FEELINGS. VALIDATION.
Q. I often explain to my mother my phobia that to be a writer/a woman/a woman writer means to suffer mercilessly and eventually collapse in a heap of “I could have been better than this.”
A. It’s not true that to be “a woman writer means to suffer mercilessly and eventually collapse in a heap of ‘I could have been better than this,’” nor is it true that a “unifying theme is many of their careers ended in suicide…” The unifying theme is resilience and faith. The unifying theme is being a warrior and a motherfucker. It is not fragility. It’s strength. It’s nerve. And “if your Nerve, deny you –,” as Emily Dickinson wrote, “go above your Nerve.”