You Don’t Need Anyone’s Permission to Write
By Xicana Ph.D.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to write. You don’t need a pre-approval. You don’t need a blessing from anyone living or passed on. You don’t need to wait for a sign from the great writers you look up to. You don’t need an academic in an ivory tower to tell you are worthy of sharing your ideas. You don’t need a famous poet or politician or self proclaimed prophet of the written word to give you a seal of approval. You don’t need a new years resolution. You don’t need any of these things to start. You just start.
You start. You start because it makes sense to you, because you remember the times you stopped writing for all the reasons you said you wouldn’t let anyone step in the way of you and something you love and that is to write. You start and remember all the reasons you held back; the men, judgement of family, put downs by other writers, you also remember being scared of what THEY may think of you and what you have to say, but it doesn’t matter now, you write anyway. You start and start again because you’ve waited too long. You start because there is something in your belly that is so heavy it is weighing you down, making you sick, you need to let it out.
Let it out.
You continue to write realizing not everyone is going to like what you have to say. Not everyone is going to like your words and what’s more, they also won’t like you. They say you aren’t academic enough because you write with too much emotion they say you are too angry, sad, happy, and PERSONAL, but you write and write. You make lemonade out of lemons even though life has handed you so many of them. You continue because you love your writing. Even with each painful edit re-reading them. You continue to go through the process that isn’t always easy. You sometimes even share it, but with each denial in your inbox from those you realize are nothing more than gatekeepers you write. Thank them as you move on and take whatever advice you see in helping you grow, not advice that hinders. You decide. You decide to make your own path and you realize that is the best one to walk. That one is for them, this one is for you. You continue to whisper thank you as you continue and you keep writing despite what any professor that tells you about how it’s not the right time to write a book, you should focus on articles. Articles? Why so they help you get jobs also not meant for you, at least not now. It gets in your head a little that battle between what you want to do and what they tell you you’re supposed to do, but soon you realize you heard this before in different variations and it doesn’t matter. You know what you want and you keep going. You have your own path and you walk it knowing whatever anyone says or does cannot matter. You continue. You continue writing on this path until it becomes habit. It becomes a part of you. You write and write and write and…
you rest. On your own time, on your own clock for however long you need. Rest. To be present. To be a parent. To protest. To be an educator. To read. To stay in bed all day. To remember who you are. You rest so you will write again and again, be it pen and paper or a keyboard or a typewriter or those moments thinking quietly in love or painfully mourning. You write with clarity, with memory, knowing who you are and why you are here and remember with heart that…
you don’t need anyone’s permission to write except your own.