"we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.” — Virginia Woolf
My favorite writing teacher once told me that writers have to give themselves permission to write. Nobody is going to tap you on the shoulder and say, ok Tracy, now its time to sit down and write. In a world that demands we show something for our work, and in the case of writing, that we publish our work, I have been shy, hard-pressed to consider myself a true writer. But now that has changed. Older, wiser, and tired of the same old ways my comparative theories have held me back — I claim myself as belonging to a sector of those who must write to understand themselves. I write to retrieve moments, and to re-live them through the safe and wide lens of the present. I write to learn about process and craft and how honesty plays into our most cherished communications. Writing is the practice that puts me in my seat and asks me to lean into the life of an entire body. I have written a manuscript, a memoir about a seismic time in my life. From that manuscript I published an excerpted article in Brain, Child Magazine. I have written lifestyle articles for Illumine Magazine but that is not the point. Writing creditability lay not in the publisher’s hands, but in my own. And while I know there are parts of me that dream of that publisher, that agent, hell, that pulitzer —— because hey, it feels good to be recognized, these outcomes pale in comparison to the feeling I get when I sit down and get real with myself on the page. This is a truth I could not live without knowing.