Yesterday I read a scathing article where the writer took down and tried to put down writers like me — writers who write very candidly about sex.
I don’t tiptoe around sex when I write about it.
I want you all to know exactly what it feels like when someone’s penis is in my vagina, and I will tell you so, and if you don’t like that, you can go read something else.
But not this post, this one you should stay and read.
You see, before, I would have cowered.
I would have felt like that writer was spinning her words just for me and no one else on the internet who writes about sex.
I would have put all of her vitriol and shame onto myself.
I might have even put my tail between my legs and scampered off to try to write about puppies or kittens or something.
But I don’t like writing about tame things.
I like writing about blowjobs and masturbation.
I like writing about parenting, disability, mental health, relationships, weight loss, and poetry, too, but writing about sex is a part of myself that I repressed for a long time and I’m not going to shove my writing back in the closet because someone’s got her panties in an uncomfortable bunch.
The old me might have cowered away, but the new me just doesn’t care anymore.
If I cared what people thought of me, I wouldn’t be able to write.
I think this may be true for a lot of writers.
Such as it is, even writing under a pen name, other people’s criticism can get to you. That writer’s words got to me… but only a little bit, because I let them for a few minutes.
Then, I told myself, this is one person’s opinion in an ocean of opinions on writing, and if we all worried so much about what other people thought of us and the content we produced, some of us would be paralyzed into inaction.
I refused to be paralyzed into inaction ever again based on fear.
That’s what gets in our way — the fear of sharing our thoughts
It’s not laziness, it’s not apathy… it’s because of people like that writer who try to tell us that we have no place here, that no one wants to read our words.
I’d like to flip her off and tell her she’s wrong while I laugh my way to the bank, but instead I came to write this for you.
Yes, you, my dear reader.
Don’t let anyone shame you out of telling your story.
Your stories are worth telling, no matter what the content matter is.
Your stories are worth sharing, because you are worth listening to.
We can’t please everyone with our writing, but we can at least please ourselves with the act of writing and then, hopefully, with the act of sharing that writing with the world.
We don’t have to be afraid of judgement or criticism, because we are all capable of learning our inherent worth and belonging.
If anyone tries to tell you differently? Screw ‘em.
Thankfully, people on the internet are relatively easy to ignore. You don’t have to keep reading the work of writers you don’t like or appreciate if you don’t have to, and if you see something in your feeds that you don’t like, you have the option of scrolling on by.
Why so many people choose not to do this, I don’t know, but that’s the world we live in today — it’s full of haters, but, nevertheless, we must persist.
I have made a choice not to let those haters bring me down like they did when I was younger.
It’s a choice we all have to make — to tune it in, or tune out the hate.
Choose wisely, my friends.
Your writing depends on it.