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Does everyone else fill pages and pages with words they don’t publish?

I love writing. I love it when the words pour out of my fingertips, condensing in tidy characters the shapes of feelings I haven’t figured out. I love it when the words come out all jumbled, and even when they feel just out of reach.

My love of writing has always been there. I’ve been writing stories since I can remember and I may, possibly, have more journals than Taylor Swift. I know how it works: the clumsy, giddy flow of the idea and the subsequent editing. I know I have to go back to the document, and read it…


THOUGHTS

We consume all these stories when we’re young-er, like school-young, that tell us to dream big. They do this by explicitly, Hollywood-style saying “dream big.” They also do it by showing us characters who dream big, then face some hardship or a lot of hardships, or barely any, and then come out the other side happy and healthy and in love.

A lot of the books I’ve been reading lately (that’s the magic of algorithmic recommendations) seem to be about the characters who came out of the twenties tunnel only to find that The Dream wasn’t on the other side…


RELATIONSHIPS

You swipe left. It’s a loser’s game, but it’s the only game you play. You consider yourself creative, but this is one exercise in imagination you have yet to conquer. You cringe when you see the photos and immediately feel bad. At least they’re putting themselves out there. Those photos in short shorts, and dim elevators, and hugging probably borrowed pets are them trying more than you. The girl who always swipes left.

“Why are you even on it?” another frustrated friend.

“This is me trying,” you mumble unconvinced, trying and failing, but trying nonetheless. Your friend will sigh and…


I haven’t always loved dedications. When I was younger, I never paid them much attention. I will also admit to skipping prefaces and prologues. Ah, the impatience of youth! I guess I just wanted to jump into the story.

At some point that changed. I devour books from cover to cover now. I even read the acknowledgments. Specifically, I read the dedications on purpose, to the point where I’m disappointed when there aren’t any.

I think the best dedication I’ve ever read, or at least read and remembered, is the one in the Little Prince:

“TO LEON WERTH

I ask…


Sometimes we don’t tell them. We hide it and hope it passes, sometimes it does. But sometimes it’s stronger than us. We bite back the words, but it shows in the way we smile, in how we stand a little closer or let our guards down.

Telling someone we like them, like like them is scary. An exercise in vulnerability if ever there was one. I don’t know why we risk it, why we say it out loud. Maybe it’s hope, or maybe it’s an attempt to gain control of it: as if saying it out loud makes it something…


I have no business writing about writing. I’m an amateur at best, but I love reading and writing and reading about writing and this is a list of the things I’ve learned… so far.

#1 The muse must find you writing

Stephen King and Elizabeth Guilbert have more in common than they know. Yes, I’m comparing the author of Eat, Pray, Love with the author of Scream, Run, Die… and it’s because they have the same vision about writing, (and apparently, the same impulse to share it!)

“…good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two…


There are no photos of us and maybe that’s not so bad. I’m glad we met before Facebook and Instagram and phones with cameras. I indulge in nostalgia enough. But now and then, you’ll sidle into my thoughts and make me wish I could see us: in color, sepia, or black and white, just slightly more defined than the vaguely remembered sketches in my mind.

There are no photos of us. No snapshots of our midnight bike rides. No record of our hallway strolls listening to my iPod, your lean Eastpack, and my overflowing Kipling bouncing on our backs as…


I’m not a patient person, but I try. I don’t like slow motion, but I can slow down, for a moment, sometimes. I thought the pandemic had been a great teacher in patience. A continuous lesson in: wait, learn, breathe, try again.

Entering stores one at a time, everything we do now implies standing in line. So I work on it. I plug into my playlist, I sway and nod my head to the beat, but I don’t sigh and I don’t fidget.

Smile behind the mask, they might not see it, but you’ll start to believe it. I am…


The kindness of strangers is my favorite kind

I was at The Strand; a safe haven when the city got too city, too chaotic, too crowded. That day I was feeling a little lost, a little lonely. The stacks were easier to navigate than any city map, even New York’s grid. I found comfort in the alphabetical order, the myriad of voices in colorful book jackets, and seducing titles.

Usually, I set an alarm on my phone as soon as I walk in so that I don’t spend the entire day there, reading book blurbs and adding titles to my TBR pile. …


My Instagram feed is full of people saying this is the year of no resolutions. Apparently, in 2020 we learned that “be better” should be simply “be”. Like resolutions are a pressure, a burden weighing us down. I’ve never really seen them like that. To me, they are wishes upon fireworks that we dare to say out loud. This year I WANT…

I want to dance more, read more, write more, eat more fruit, more late-night conversations with friends, more holidays, more music! I want long walks exploring my city, I want to learn a new language or a new…

Agnes

Slow runner, fast walker. I have dreamed in different languages. I read a lot. Yes, my curls are real.

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