Steps to becoming a real writer:
Pull apart your ribcage in the
heavy turns of night, when time
teeters on a cold cut-throat cliff.
Dig your uncut nails into your
vibrating heart. Let the crimson
stain your fingertips, and let the
blood vessels snag your nails.
Breathe in the warm beating
of your heart and ask yourself
who the hell you are. Why the
hell are you holding a pen and
what makes you think you have
the right to finger a piece of paper?
Bite your lip hard and draw more
blood and let it drop into your ink
bottle, creating swirls of bubbles.
Then do whatever helps you hyper-
inflate with chemicals/emotions.
Drown yourself in music, or more
words — whatever. Make sure you
ache unbearably but keep your screams
bitten tight behind your teeth, then grab
that paper, watch your fingers quiver
and spew everything on the page.
Remember, don’t even imagine
showing these words to anyone.
Remember, this is for your eyes,
only. Remember, in a writer’s strength
lies vulnerability. And when you wake
up with the golden sun, honey, you can
make it all striking and pretty for the
world to see.
(I don’t know if I qualify as a real writer.)
Tejal Doshi is a high school student living in India whose work has been published in The WEIGHT Journal, Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine, Voice Club, and elsewhere. She is a member of MIST (Mental Illness Support for Teens). She also fails to understand why nobody laughs at her brilliant jokes.