Even if that reader is only me I want it to be real. To make sense.
I've been writing since I was a kid: journaling faithfully since 1st grade. Short stories since 2nd grade. I wrote a dreadful play in 4th grade and some neighborhood kids and I acted it out in my garage for my Mom one summer. It was so bad but I loved writing it.
My mom used to buy those journals with the gold filled ends that sealed the pages together. It also had a tiny piece of leather and a cheap lock to scare off any would be peeker into your most deepest hearts desire. Whatever that could be for a grade school girl. My older sister was notorious for blatantly busting that lock wide open and revealing my secrets inside. Although she'd get punished I knew I had to be crafty in hiding my thoughts.
I started doing it in plain sight.
I would find an old school spiral bound notebook and make journal entries in the middle pages, tucked safely inside. No one was the wiser and it worked for years.
A few months back I was cleaning out a memorabilia box. In it I found a 7th grade science lab notebook. In it we're journal entries woven throughout. A paragraph here; two there. It was subtle. Truly, there was something quite powerful that a child figured this out. The content became extremely revealing, vulnerable, honest and sometimes silly. I talked about my crushes, friendships, my constant, soul crushing anxiety. My fear of my mother's alcoholism. My sister's drug abuse and having to be the one piece of pride to prove to my parents they did something right with their kids.
I'm back in that place again. Trying to keep boundaries around my head and heart but it's difficult. Those wounds never go away. You make room for the pain and live life to the best of your ability.
I try to cut myself slack although to be honest I'm not good at it. I'm harsh on myself. My inner dialogue is downright brutal at times. That is a work in progress, too.
I've written research articles and that is my go to place. I'm comfortable there. I find it relaxing. Even fun. This type of writing is wonderful in so many ways and it's so damned painful in so many ways. It's not cathartic. It keeps me in misery at times but I'm really ok with it. That's how this story gets told. Don't misunderstand. It's not a miserable story. There are pieces that are excruciating that characters experience. I want the reader to relate to their own personal experiences of pain.
Joy will juxtapose the pain. Balance is always needed and good will always triumph. In some stories there is a price to pay for it.
That's it for now. Where I've been. Where I'm heading. Onward.