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If you want to know what it feels like to get naked in public….

Write the most honest thing you know how to write about something shitty that happened to you, even if (especially if) that shitty thing wasn’t actually earth-shatteringly tragic. Vomit up all the words and then revise them so many times you don’t know if anything you wrote makes sense or is even remotely good but submit it to an editor anyway. Wonder if your words (read: heart) went into an abyss or her actual inbox. Wait for her to reject it, not because you have such low self-esteem, but because that’s just how writing is. Forget about it entirely until you remember again and bug the editor, like “Did you get it? Do you want it?” only way more professional than that. Be elated when she says “We want to publish this.” Count the days till publication. When it is actually published feel a little sick because it is out there and anyone, everyone, can read it.

My essay, Twelve Truths About My Life With Bell’s Palsy is up on Longreads. You can click here to read it.

Like being naked in public, it’s scary at first, but then you get used to it and it’s fine. (Unless you’re at the Wind River Reservoir on a hot July day and just when you’re feeling super relaxed in the water, a park ranger comes to tell your husband his wife needs to put some clothes on because there’s a family who wants to picnic on the beach and nudity is not permitted, in which case it is not fine at all.)

 

Bell's Palsy

illustration credit: Hannah Perry

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