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3.05.2012

a letter from me to myself. (the wiser, lived-in part, to the day-to-day me).

darling girl,

write for yourself.

sure, yes, okay. yes, it was easier when you began and no one was looking and no one was watching and no one was needing, but for you. and yes, that's changed. and so okay, maybe it's not as easy. and maybe you can't run into an old-friend-such-and-such at the 18th street station and promptly write about it.

or maybe you can.

maybe you can and maybe you should.

quiet those voices. those outside voices, those terribly unhelpful, intrusive voices, politely tell them to shove off. you get to do that darling girl, you get to ask them to shut up, that is your right, your perfect grace.

writers are always selling someone down the river and mostly it will be yourself--this is how you write. but sometimes it won't be. sometimes it will have to be someone else. make peace with that. forgive yourself that. you have your four or five that you will protect with a ferocity you've only just begun to discover, but save for them, the others are not your responsibility.

write.

stop letting others dictate the flow of the current with their shoulds and woulds and buts and can'ts. politely tell them to get their oar out of your creek and get on with it.

write for yourself darling girl and get on with it.

there will be those who don't like what you have to say. let them. let them dislike it.

and there will be those who will diminish and demean--who will shrink you down--stamp you with flimsy adjectives and pallid labels in an effort to make more sense of you.

you are not to be made sense of! you, darling girl, are not to be made sense of. you are bigger than that.

and for the love of all that is good and holy please stop worrying about who may or may not read this. about what ex-boyfriend may see something unflattering or what boy may take a phrase and decide that it's his and run with it. i got news for you kid, you can't control that part. and yes, darling girl, you got screwed recently. fate threw you a nasty, little curveball. it was just about as shit as shit can be, but let's talk about the remarkable thing: you're still standing. and you used your voice. no small feat, my dear. it may feel large and unjust now and okay, let yourself feel that, but the whole thing--that whole unfortunate situation will prove a footnote of this story, i promise you that.

so now use your voice here. write.

what you're really afraid of is that he or him or what or not might glimpse your capacity to love. and you yourself are only just waking to the wealth within you and it's startling. i know that. the extent, the boundless measure of it, is almost alarming. do not be frightened by it. this is the source of your power. and if another is put off by it, that's on them, darling girl, not on you. think of it, someone alarmed by the strength and potency of your love? that is a person you simply don't need darling girl.

and now i'm gonna give you a gift. ready? i'm gonna give you permission to say no to that second cup of coffee with that boy or that man or that guy on the cusp who you know is not right for you. politely excuse yourself and politely move on. don't apologize for knowing what you want or honoring the push of your gut. your gut is strong my dear. and loud. lordy is it loud: listen to it, trust it.

move on and write anyway.

45 comments:

haley said...

I love your writing. Always just what I need, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Exactly.

Sarah Tucker said...

yes, yes & yes darling girl!

sharlyn emily said...

Meg, darling girl, my heart swelled while reading this. Thank you for these words. Thank you for allowing me to share in the love you so evidently have for yourself in these words. Thank you for kindly allowing me to love myself through them as well. Is may be my favorite post of yours ever. I'm giving you a standing ovation from afar. Bravo!

Carrie Rosalind said...

Amen! I feel your pain - you never know who is reading the blog and what they are taking from it, and that is a scary thing! I love your writing and I do hope you open up more! Good luck with the process! :)

Roxanne said...

this, i love.

Me & You said...

This post really moved me. And I saw so much of myself in what you wrote. You definitely have a way with words and the world is brighter with your writing in it. Thanks for sharing!

mackenzie said...

this is just what i needed. also i love the new photo on your header! so sassy.

Mary said...

But of course! Well said, as always.

Anonymous said...

I was listening to this Ira Glass piece on storytelling while reading your blog, and I felt that they jived :) Enjoy (it's only a few minutes long):
http://vimeo.com/24715531

Anonymous said...

meg. thank you.

Anonymous said...

this almost made me cry. thank you.

meg fee said...

@anonymous: i had seen that ira glass quote on pinterest a good while ago, but i'm so glad you reintroduced me to it. "fight your way through the work"--i love that, i have to remember that.

Kmarie said...

Beautiful. You are a brave writer which is why I keep reading your posts...they have meaning:)

Mae said...

I've been struggling with the same thing. So, thank you for this. Thank you. By the way, I love your writing! You have a lovely voice.

CityGirl said...

new to your blog. loving every post. you are wise beyond your years. keep writing and using your voice. it's superb.

Anonymous said...

I was struggling with the same problem recently as well. One of my first blog followers who doesn't know me personally left a comment on a post that was different than my normal post and said "I really don't like this kind of post, I really like your normal stuff". It was all I could do not to fire off a biting comment asking them to please keep their likes and dislikes to themself as it's my blog written for me above anything else. I satisfied myself with correcting their spelling and passive-aggressively blogging only about the things I knew they wouldn't like for a while.

Do what you need- this is your space and these are your thoughts, and ignore the nay-sayers.

Mel said...

Such a valuable lesson and reminder.

debbiecutieface.com said...

I don't know how you always write just what I need to hear.

kate said...

here's the thing i think about your words right now, even if a louder voice is saying they aren't they needed they may be exactly what the quiet ones did. you can't please everyone.

and the shit you went through, i'm sorry for that. it sounds like it may have allowed you to learn something about yourself.

write darling girl, i'll be reading.

look a little closer said...

so, so, sooo good.

Chicago girl moves on said...

I needed this. Jesus, I needed this. Thank you, Meg.

p.s. I won tickets to see The Head and the Hurt on Thursday. Can you believe it? Fly here and be my +1. :)

heatherhxo said...

Your writing is powerful and breathtaking. Always, always write for you. You have a gift.

Natalie said...

<3

meg fee said...

@ chicago girl: don't tempt me!!! i'd come just to see chicago--boy do i love that town! but i'll be in park city, so i'm not doing too bad this week!

Chicago girl moves on said...

I love that I spelled Heart as Hurt.

Not even gonna touch that one.

Have a fabulous trip! :)

Ariel Tyler said...

I love this so very much.

Ashlee Green said...

Exactly what I needed to hear today.

Melissa Kiefer said...

thank you for freeing me.

Emily said...

yes, write for yourself, i think so too. i try to keep that as my north star, as hard as it is to do, sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you take all of those hours you're spending writing diary entries into the blogosphere for your fans and start putting those writing hours into writing something that's actually a writing piece on its OWN, without the narcissism and ego and fans attached (which blogs are). Like a PLAY or a NOVEL or a SHORT STORY or a POEM or some freelance JOURNALISM (not about yourself) or LYRICS to a song even? Why don't you try and get a literary agent by really putting yourself out there and by "really putting yourself out there" I do not mean putting your endless diary entries of yourself out to all your blog followers to give you validation for, I mean really putting yourself out there by crafting a real piece of writing AWAY from the fawning eyes of these blog followers - putting yourself out there by trying to start a legit writing career without the adulation of the internet and with simply yourself and your writing.

Because that's what separates the pure writers from the actor-writers. But. Maybe you are the latter. In which case, carry on.

Nicole said...

Really lovely. And, though I love novels and short stories and poems as Anonymous suggested you write, I love what you do. And it's important (as evidenced by all the comments left by your readers).

Please continue!

Sabrina Katherine said...

Thank goodness I checked in to my daily dose of your writing. It was just what I needed. Thank you, dear Meg!

lcb said...

Regarding Anonymous: I wholeheartedly agree that a large chunk of bloggers are writers in quotation marks; "writers" whose inauthenticity seeps through in every cloying, disingenuous rehashing of some "cool" phrasing or photo or experience they've seen elsewhere.

But I really don't feel like that's what Meg is doing here. I don't know her personally, while it sounds like you may. But her writing comes across as genuine and true, and I don't begrudge her for writing what she knows: herself.

I've never understood why people see memoir and self-reflection as a narcissistic, trivial pursuit. I love reading about other people's personal experiences and relating my own to them. What greater gift can a writer give than to nudge a reader to reexamine some of her own life experience through a new lens?

If she's able to reach some of those readers right now, through the internet, why shouldn't she? Bottom line, no one is ever going to be everyone else's bag.

Meg, thanks for sharing your experiences with those of us who can relate to them. Those who don't can surely find reading material elsewhere, no?

meg fee said...

@ anon: do you know of any good literary agents? that would be wildly helpful. thank you so much for your encouragement and support.

@ lcb: does it sound like anonymous actually knows me in real life? good God, i hope not, i'd cut them out like the cancer they are.

Hannah said...

This is so wise and so beautifully written as always. And i'm so glad you will not be allowing the snipers and belittlers to impact upon what you write or how you live. Well done you!

Jessica said...

Re: your very last comment- hahahahahahahahaha. win. I'm not exactly sure what makes some (i.e. last anon.) feel they are in a position to make judgements like "pure-writer" versus "actor-writer" or "narcissistic" and "seeking adulation" versus "legit writing career". I'm not quite sure what could be more "legit" than crafting tender morsel-y word bits and sending them out into the internet ether, hoping they'll find a home in some little heart. It takes courage, and it takes a lot of trust in strangers you'll never meet.

Lottie said...

I thought this was beautifully poetic and not narcissistic in the slightest.

You're so talented meg--just keep writing and thanks for reminding me to listen to my gut :)

viktorija said...

I wish I lived in your vicinity and we could start a writers' group. ;) 'twould be fun. I belonged to a wonderful one, then I moved, and my writing has some to a slow, shuddering stop. Thanks for the inspiration to pick up a pen and start again.

Britti said...

This made me cry.
So much truth.
Thank you Meg.

lcb said...

Meg, my initial impression was that it must be someone who knows (or knew) you personally to get THAT worked up and bent out of shape over the topic of your writing...

but I guess that's the premise of the internet, isn't it? To get worked up and bent out of shape under the cloak of anonymity. Thank goodness we have the "real writers" to set us straight!

meg fee said...

@ lcb: the scary thing about the internet, and the thing i've really been struggling with of late is that i may or may not know that person in real life and i have no idea. and that's pretty terrifying. i think the other unfortunate thing of the internet is that people say things under the cloak of anonymity that they would never say otherwise. if it's a legit point, and i'm not commenting on that, why do it anonymously.

but let me say to you now, thank you for your kindness and support.

Nikki said...

I didn't think it was possible to fall more in love with your writing anymore, but it just happened.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and your beautiful way of writing about them. And for the heavens, please do write more!

fore front said...

you just gotta fight your way through it
http://designyoutrust.com/2012/02/03/ira-glass-to-all-beginners-you-just-gotta-fight-your-way-through/

Leslie Harris said...

stilll here. still reading. keep doing what you're doing. Really.