Writing About Love - Op-Ed Piece
When I’m in love, I don’t want to write stories about love. I’m scared that admitting it out loud will be the force that slashes it in half. I want to go all-in, bathing in each delicious kiss, staring love in the face, into her beautiful face. Love is a mystery. She swoops over me out of thin air and lands within my grasp. I take her because she is compelling and strong and I don’t know how to deny her. Why would I?
When I am single and looking for love, I don’t want to write about love. I don’t want to jinx my efforts. I don’t want to sound too greedy in my written words. I want to nonchalantly float through my life like it doesn’t matter if I’m single or not. Because it doesn’t. Not really. But it does because love is so intoxicating that I want it even when I can’t imagine making space for its power in my life.
When I want to write about love is when I’m heartbroken. That is when I am open and vulnerable to the core. That’s when I can fully see what just happened to me. I can feel it deeply and allow the hurt to crack me in half. That is when I can write about the beauty and the pain of love. Even now, as I am single and haven’t been heartbroken in two years, I can channel that feeling and it will wash over me like fresh goo, all sticky and warm.
Follow along with me as I lead you to consider the life of Louisa May Alcott. She never married, yet she wrote of love. Is this too hard for us to imagine? Did people assume she knew not of the powerful force of love merely due to not having a permanent man in her life and her bed?
Louisa chose to not be attached and dependent on a man to bring her notability, property, and money. She was brave enough and empowered, so she sought it out for herself. She denied the rules of society in her day and paved her own way. She followed some of the rules to get published but kept her heart in the process.
Alcott was a fierce and independent feminist who wanted to fill her days with writing and creating instead of keeping a house and tending to small children and a husband.
In this day and age, her lifestyle would not have been critiqued as it was then. Perhaps her mother may have questioned when she was going to get married and “settle down one day.” But the world would have accepted a writer who was filled with the creative bug and wanted to be on her own, unencumbered by a family. She would have been free to take a lover and dabble in online dating whenever the urge struck. Declaring she never wanted to get married would be understood by some and challenged by others. Denying her suitors would have made her more desirable.
Alcott would be able to buy property today from the money she earned as a writer. She could retreat for weeks at a time when the creative spirit washed over her. She could write and make love by candlelight choosing her muse, male or female. She would be free to choose a new lover as it suited her and not be engulfed by the demands of a steady affair with obligations within society. She could feel enough of the push and pull of love to write of its effect on her characters as she developed plots and storylines, leaving marriage to her stories and keeping it out of her personal life entirely.
I will never run out of inspiration for stories with a theme of love. I can live a life in-love through my creative work as a writer. I can tell myself there is no room for a love affair. Love will surely distract me from my work and my passions. A partner wouldn’t understand my drive to be alone to focus on my work.
I called my first novel my girlfriend for over a year and it felt like it. I devoted all of my free time to her. I couldn’t wait to steal away and give her all of my focus and energy. I delighted in our new words and a revised chapter. Just looking at her made me smile.
Do I want to be in love again? Madly and truly in love? The fear of the unknown holds me back from fully opening myself up to love again. It’s magical and scary. It takes over... everything. I don’t want that. And yet I desperately want that.
Wherefore, I invite you, Love, come on in.
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About The Blogger
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden lives and breathes in warm Gainesville, Florida. You will find her writing at an outdoor cafe or on her expansive back porch, always with hot tea or chilled kombucha to keep the creative juices flowing. Anastacia is a writer & editor, a matchmaker & a Licensed Midwife. She enjoys writing articles, books, and ghostwriting on various projects. She writes articles on health, vulnerability, empowerment, yoga, mindfulness, social/emotional learning, travel, nutrition, pregnancy, parenting, feminism, natural remedies, and emotional health. She has three books in various stages of editing. She is the author of Greater Than A Tourist: Gainesville, Florida. She makes art with found objects, cooks delicious and organic whole foods, practices yoga, exercises outside, travels, and writes daily as her passion.
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