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A Love Letter to Non-Writer Partners, Family, & Friends 💌✨
my thoughts on support, community, & love - welcome back to The Slush Pile!
It’s the second month of the year and I’m so pleased to be back with Issue 14 of The Slush Pile! Because it’s the day after Valentine’s Day, I wanted to take a moment to again celebrate love - though perhaps differently than you would expect. Yes, this is in some way about romantic relationships because that’s where a certain realization started for me. You see, once I entered a long-term relationship, I noticed a few things, like suddenly having all these privileges and benefits thrown at me. I have someone to go places with, to tell both my bad and good news to, to listen to me recount my weird dreams first thing in the morning, to inspire me to change and grow and recognize my flaws amidst my strengths and good intentions. But it wasn’t just me that changed; it was my writing, too.
It was more than having the inspiration and inclination to write love poems and stories about fictional people in love (although both have been written aplenty). It was also the fact that my partner, who isn’t a writer the way I am, was willing, even excited, to push my writing to new heights almost as much as I was. He’s been so good about exchanging ideas with me, having impromptu brainstorming sessions, picking up the pieces in my worst moments of self-doubt, fear, and discouragement in the face of rejections and failures. I thought that I couldn’t have been more thankful to have him uplifting me and shouldering the ongoing, silent burdens of a writer’s life - until I realized that that support from non-writers has been around me all along every single day of my life, even before he came into the picture, that I’ve been loved this way for much longer than I’ll ever know and I’m just learning now to be grateful for it.
This is not to say that romantic relationships aren’t important or that I’m pushing mine to the side to make a bigger point. But whether or not you’re in one, it’s important to always be looking around for your people and noticing the ones who are always in your corner, especially if they’re not writers. For me, that’s my parents, my close circle of relatives like my uncles and aunts and cousins. It’s my best friend and co-workers and mutuals online who aren’t writers but love to read what they create. That love and support is present, always have been, in all my different relationships for as long as I’ve been writing; it just took a romantic partner for me to see it and appreciate it once I realized that he wasn’t the only one asking questions and taking an interest in my work.
I guess I’m writing this because I don’t want anyone else to find their way back to gratitude as late as I did. Because the truth is, before my partner and I began dating, it was my mom and my aunts who sat around the table with me listening to me talk about what was going on in my writing, who I excitedly told my writing ideas to, even reading short pieces and synopses. Now I have someone else and things have changed a bit, and while I love being in love, it’s important to not let go of or take for granted the other kinds of love that have been sustaining me and my writing for much longer.
In the same way that no one appreciates their friend ditching them for a partner, only to return weeks later and expect everything to go back to normal, I don’t want to become so enamored that I lose sight of the people that have been supporting me all along, or take for granted the new love I’ve found. It’s a delicate balance, one that’s hard to keep without patience and care, but not impossibly so. For me, my writing is only as good as the love I receive, and I’m grateful too for what I’ve been able to offer in return. So thank you to everyone who has ever asked me about my work, reposted something I shared, listened as I read aloud what I was working on, collaborated with me, made me and my work feel loved. Thank you, thank you, thank you <3
notes from the writer’s desk ✍️
my favorite recently pub’d pieces:
This year, I launched creativity café, an ig live series where i feature, create space, and hold conversation with writers I love and that you should too! The latest and third episode will feature special guest writer Margo Candela, so keep an eye on my Instagram for more details. Can’t wai!
STREAMING SERVICE: season two, the sequel to my self-published debut poetry chapbook STREAMING SERVICE: golden shovels made for tv, IS NOW OUT! Digital and signed physical copies are available, as well as the option to bundle both chapbooks and receive a bookmark and sticker with every physical order! Order your copy today! Thank you as always for your support :’)
I am now a media mentor for Tectonic Media! If you are a young/aspiring journalist, I am available for consultation and mentorship on a variety of topics. Learn more about my areas of specialty and how we can connect here.
other stories i’m loving 📖
An Autobiography of Skin by Lakiesha Carr
Abbot Elementary, S2
currently listening to:
Let Me Love You by Mario
all my love,