Write like you are an adolescent and the words burn you like acid, the fumes rising out of you the only way to stave off anger and despair and the angst of growing into yourself.
Write like you are a woman with breast cancer who survived. So the woman with a lump the next month or the next year or next decade knows that you lived, that you breathe and go on and she will too.
Write like they’ve dropped you in a deep, dark hole and your words are the only light rising out of it, the only breath that might set you free. Write like your countrymen have no voice and yours are the only words floating up to heaven that tell they are tortured and raped and buried in the deep places of the earth. Write so your political leaders will scream and call for your blood, so they label you a traitor and hunt you.
Write like you are a young mother with postpartum depression, and the way your doctors tried to cure you almost drove you mad. Write so they will see it and change how they treat other women.
Write like you are founding a country based on equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and you want others to know about it. Write so its citizens will fight for it and cling to its ideals in good times and bad.
Write like the President will see it. Like he will change environmental policy forever because of the words you create, the urgency. Write what you learned about history so he can design his government in the best way.
Write so that you can show how all men are created equal, and women too. Write so they can see you are smart and strong, not less because you are a slave, or a woman, or a jew or a white man who doesn’t get it. Write because it is a weapon and a benediction, because it will end a war and bind up a nation’s wounds.
Write so you can tell us how it was in the camps, in the attic, in the small quiet spaces no one sees but you.
Write so we can see each other for the first time and for the thousandth. Show us we are not alone. Write because the words are so powerful they burst from your skin like ripe fruit. Like yours is the last pen in the world, with the last bit of ink, and generations to come will see your words and do better.