Elyse Writes...

David Levithan, The Lover’s Dictionary

David Levithan, The Lover’s Dictionary

I am competitive. I try to keep this to myself, but oh, in my heart of hearts, I want to win anything that can be won. As a child, I needed to earn the highest grades and offer, when called upon, the most astute answers, the better to impress teacher. Yes, I was that girl. I have a national Scrabble ranking, though it is not impressive. When I sit across from other word nerds, I want to destroy them. I feel competitive when driving on the interstate, when following the career arcs of other writers, when reading a book and the Kindle tells me I have eight hours left. That is a throwing down of the gauntlet. I determine to finish in six.
Read the rest: Food TV’s Sadistic Glee (via roxanegay)
Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.
~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (via creatingaquietmind)
All this time
I drank you like the cure when maybe
you were the poison.
But the best possible thing you can do is get your ass down onto the floor. Write so blazingly good that you can’t be framed. Nobody is going to give you permission to write about your vagina, hon. Nobody is going to give you a thing. You have to give it yourself. You have to tell us what you have to say.

That’s what women writers throughout time have done and it’s what we’ll continue to do. It’s not true that to be “a woman writer means to suffer mercilessly and eventually collapse in a heap of ‘I could have been better than this,’” nor is it true that a “unifying theme is many of their careers ended in suicide” and I strongly encourage you to let go of these beliefs. They are inaccurate and melodramatic and they do not serve you. People of all professions suffer and kill themselves. In spite of various mythologies regarding artists and how psychologically fragile we are, the fact is that occupation is not a top predictor for suicide. Yes, we can rattle off a list of women writers who’ve killed themselves and yes, we may conjecture that their status as women in the societies in which they lived contributed to the depressive and desperate state that caused them to do so. But it isn’t the unifying theme.

You know what is?

How many women wrote beautiful novels and stories and poems and essays and plays and scripts and songs in spite of all the crap they endured. How many of them didn’t collapse in a heap of “I could have been better than this” and instead went right ahead and became better than anyone would have predicted or allowed them to be. The unifying theme is resilience and faith. The unifying theme is being a warrior and a motherfucker. It is not fragility. It’s strength. It’s nerve. And “if your Nerve, deny you –,” as Emily Dickinson wrote, “go above your Nerve.” Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.

You need to do the same, dear sweet arrogant beautiful crazy talented tortured rising star glowbug. That you’re so bound up about writing tells me that writing is what you’re here to do. And when people are here to do that they almost always tell us something we need to hear. I want to know what you have inside you. I want to see the contours of your second beating heart.

Read this Dear Sugar column for the first time last night. Might have burrowed under covers to have a little cry afterwards. (via dynamofire)

THIS!

(via lauriehalseanderson)

Wow. And, strangely reassuring for me, personally. 

(via authorsarahdessen)
Too many young women I think are harder on themselves than circumstances warrant. They are too often selling themselves short. They too often take criticism personally instead of seriously. You should take criticism seriously because you might learn something, but you can’t let it crush you. You have to be resilient enough to keep moving forward, whatever the personal setbacks and even insults that come your way might be. That takes a sense of humor about yourself and others. Believe me, this is hard-won advice I’m putting forth. It’s not like you wake up and understand this. It’s a process.
I think we still live in a culture that assumes that men are single by choice and women are single because no one wants them.