“Fall for Someone Who Writes,” They’ll Say

Fall for someone who writes, they say. Fall for someone who’ll take your words, your essence, your being, and twist them into an image that they’ll hide between the lines. You will have left a permanent mark, a presence that if withdrawn, a story falls apart. Fall for someone who reads between the lines, who’ll read things into the way you pause between words, in the way you phrase your sentences. “It’s hard to be in love,” you’ll say. “I don’t think I can ever love you enough,” is what they’ll hear.

They’ll tell you writers understand the shades of grey, complexity, that a person is never just one thing or the other. Writers understand that circumstances shape you, that characters develop. We do. We know this down to the dot, so much that we know to never believe what someone says as something starts out. You’re dynamic, you change; we know. But which will be your last page? When will you wake up and decide you don’t feel the same way anymore? And can we turn that page and write the rest of the story now that your name is irrelevant?

Fall for someone who lives through words, whose thoughts are jumbles of phrases that bring on a sentence that brings on three dots. Unfinished. Indecisive. Imperfect. They’ll tell you that there’s an openendedness to the well from which a writer will draw emotions. You never know what the bucket will bring up. But they won’t tell you about the hollowness. About emotions that we make up and emotions that are real and how they bounce off against the emptiness, tangling up into knots of uncertainty, a constant state of pseudo reality.

They’ll tell you to fall for a writer, who’ll have a word for every situation, for every glance, for every breath you draw out of the bare universe so that parts of it run in your veins. But they don’t tell you about the restless nights in front of a blank page. They don’t tell you that we don’t come up with words as easily as we breathe. They don’t tell you about the words that might work but aren’t quite right. “Let’s not talk about it.” When it really is “I don’t know how to talk about it.” Or about the words that seem fine upon first glance but out of place the next day. Or how one day we’ll wake up with all hope lost, because what purpose does a string of pretty words serve? What purpose does a beautiful face and body serve?

They’ll tell you to fall for someone who writes because they’ll find a hundred different ways to tell you they love you. They’ll compare you to light and summer, winter and shelter, gravity and power. But they won’t tell you that we write better than we speak. That most times we’ll write things down and hide them away from the world, deeming them imperfect, inaccurate, or temporary. They don’t tell you that we choke on our words that we’ve laced with fear of exposure, of scrutiny, or with insecurity.

Fall for a writer but know that there are plot twists and loop holes. That there are days of blank sheets and a line up of empty mugs on the desk. There are days of thoughts that drag on until they stop making sense and days of words that never make it out of the crevices between lips. Know that we’re scared that things might run out: coffee, ink, words, love. And of things that we can’t take back, like spoken words and misleading looks.  And most of all, we’re scared of things that we can’t finish, like novels and long-term relationships, and sentences that have to leave the privacy of our minds and meet the criticizing eyes of others who don’t understand the struggle of a work in progress. Who don’t understand that we’re a different sort of writer every day.

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