To write, at least if I am to write honestly, I must strip myself bare. I must relinquish my vulnerabilities, my flaws, and do so without the security net provided with a safeword. The process of writing If You Stay, the endless hours, tears, countless cups of coffee, and often declaring I was in utter hell, has allowed me to grow in ways I hadn’t known I was stunted.

Recently one of my friends read a piece of my final draft. The comments were positive and encouraging, however, there was one line which kept me awake for more than a few nights. And by a few, I mean a number that’s far higher than I want to admit.

‘Your observation of our world is unique,’ he told me. ‘I‘d like to see more of that in this world.’

Weeks of seemingly endless re-reads, re-writes, re-everything, those are the words which echoed in my ears. I hadn’t understood at first. Fear of judgment, fear afraid of my own demons, subconscious fear of self… your guess is as good as mine. Yet something clicked. Being broken, warped, whatever term you wish to use, was okay. In my mind, there’s even a certain beauty in it all.

As difficult as it is to admit, I’ve come to believe the only thing ever having stood in my way, the only thing I was waiting for, was  permission to remove my barely there blindfold, my tight little safety net, and simply let go.

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