Wednesday: I can almost smell the weekend. It’s been a busy week full of tech problems and new projects, deadlines and deep thoughts. I have been trying to use my posts for The Blog Days of Summer for short fiction but fiction doesn’t come easy these days.

[ CONTENT WARNING: mention of sexual assault and abuse, please proceed with caution.]

I made a self discovery last week as I wrote about the night I might have been murdered and dumped in a lake: I have so many stories that relate to sexual abuse and the pain and angst that those experiences have left me with. When I wrote about that night at the lake when I was sixteen, I realized that once I had the words out and onto the screen, they were no longer as heavy. By writing it out I made it something new; it no longer needed to be a painful memory, because now it was a story, now it lives outside of me. There’s freedom in that.

When we write, we release. Catharsis via the pen (or keyboard, these days) is a tale as old as time. This may not be true for all artists or writers but when the pain inside me becomes too much, I turn it into art. When it becomes art, the shame and fear that kept it inside me turns into pride and a sense of accomplishment tempered by my immense gratitude I feel knowing that people read my words and thus, experience my art. It is this alchemy that frees me.

I recently changed the tagline on this website to erotic fiction and personal essays on kink, sex, and self love. It was important to me that self love be a part of the purpose here, part of what makes this space my own, and what makes it worth sharing. I have lived my life so unable to love myself, despite how I tried, and I am just now getting a taste of what that could be like. I’m so tired of shame and doubt, I’m tired of being anxious and feeling small. I’m sick to death of holding back.

I have decided that I will write about all those painful memories and I will turn all that anguish into art. I was unsure at first but the feedback and messages I have received about the vulnerability people can feel in my words has been so positive. I want to share, I want to create and I want to affect people and help them feel and share and create. I told my Daddy today that I planned to write all those hard stories because maybe they could help someone else. His response was to tell me “You probably help more people than you could ever know.” and for once, I didn’t minimize that compliment. I smiled, I agreed, and I became even more resolute in my purpose as a writer: I may not be able to spin straw into gold, but I can make people feel, and when we truly feel our feelings, that’s when we can finally let go.

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