Not When It’s Hot: Writing Raw

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Not When It’s Hot: Writing Raw

The writing gurus say not to write about the pain when it is fresh. By that they do not mean not to write about it at all, but not to share it just yet when your skin is still hot, when your brain is still hot. Don’t share it when you’re still on fire.

I’ve shared things before when I am still hot, when the pain is bone-deep raw. Most of that I don’t regret because of what it came out of, and because of what remains on the page—still helpful, still healing for the next person. 

But I get it. I get why some things need time before we hit publish. I write it down now and I put it aside and then I return to it when the anger has waned, and I realize there’s a better way to say it, a stronger way to say it, a way that perhaps doesn’t have me looking like a lunatic or not as much, anyway. And after those edits are through, and I hit publish, my words effortlessly fly.

I am in a stage of life where things are still too raw to be shared and keeping my thoughts to myself is what’s best, if they even make it through a pen and onto a journal page.  So I’m doing something that’s actually a lot more fun. I’m editing what I’ve already written and discovering how good some of it is. Just the other day I sat in Barnes & Noble after purchasing a tall iced dragonfruit tea with lemonade and read over a particular piece. As I got to the end, I realized that I could cry—it was that beautiful. It was that good. That moment confirmed like no other how much I must write. 

So whether I’m writing for my eyes alone or for the eyes of who knows who, I must write. I must rethink how things have been phrased and what they mean to me now. And especially when they’re beautiful, so beautiful I could cry, I must publish. It’s a strange must that doesn’t carry the weight of a should but the glory of knowing these words will fly. 

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