“I tell my creative writing students this: No one can write the story you have inside of you. No one. Even if it seems that other writers have told some version of this story a thousand times…about the same subject, or type of characters, or one set in the same place or time, and even if the story is fiction. Your story is yours and has a basis in some part of your life, your worldview, in the uniqueness of your experiences, your understanding of life, and you have been the only person who’s been there for every part of yours. For this reason, only you can write your story. If you died right now, your story would literally die with you. Are you okay with that?
Reminding myself of this is motivation. It gets me temporarily unstuck. But, it’s not always healthy for the long game, for perseverance, because not making progress on a piece, despite trying, can lead to despair. And that’s when I turn to sex. Ha! I’m human.”
—Natashia Deón, author of The Perishing (Counterpoint, 2021)