07 January 2022
Ahead of the publication of Jami Attenberg’s fierce and funny memoir I Came All This Way To Meet You we’re sharing a piece from her CRAFT TALK newsletter – an inspiring and affectionate letter to fellow writers.
Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You focuses on how Jami embraced her creativity, and the way in which it saved her. It publishes on 13th January. Order your copy here.
CRAFT TALK is Jami’s weekly newsletter about writing, creativity and productivity. You can subscribe here.
I have been working on this letter for a few days and was having a lot of trouble getting it done and I could not figure out why, and then last night I was messing around online and your honor, I’d like to present exhibit A in the defense:
So is today the day where instead of banging my head up against the wall, I choose to write in my journal, do a little soft writing, where I’m gentle to my brain and amble along the page like a deer in the woods? Is today the day I just read the two books I have been dying to read and which, at last, are finally sitting in my possession? Is today the day I forgive myself for not being able to be a high-functioning individual in a low-functioning society? Can I declare today, December 20, 2021, National Give Yourself A Fucking Break Day? Why yes, I can.
Give yourself a fucking break today, if you need it. If you’re having trouble right now, I promise you, you will write again. What are you worried about? That you’ll end up living high up in a broken-down castle somewhere like a character in some Gothic novel, and all the townspeople whisper about how you were once a writer but Then Something Happened and you never wrote again?
Well listen: Nothing has happened, not in that kind of way, and you wish you lived in a castle. But, of course, everything has happened and it is hard right now but we will get through all this and then there will be more things to get through because that is how life works. The words will always be there for you, though, I promise, even if your brain, which transmits those words, needs a little time to pause or heal or relax or take a goddamn nap because this world, right now, at least for today, wins a little bit. But just the battle and not the war, baby. I promise.
You will write again.