I loved the way my name sounded from my mother's voice. Peh-neh-loh-peh. It always sounds like warm honey and twinkling music. Her thick Spanish accent was my security blanket. She would call me from one room to another and I'd run to her because I knew what waited for me. She'd smile at me and put my stray hair behind my ear and say, “Te quiero más que?" (“I love you more than?) And I'd always answer, "the air you breathe." And then she'd take me in her arms, kiss my head and I'd be off again to play. She was the only person that could use my given name.To all others, I was Pen. Just Pen, never Penny.I liked that people on the other side of the counter would always remark on my name. I never gave a straight answer about why it was Pen, but that it suited me.I was a writer in the closet. I secretly wrote, is what I'm trying to say. I always wanted to be a writer. Words jumble in my brain, though, and get caught in my the whirlwind of my brain refusing to leave it. They get snatched up and then I can't get them loose and onto a page. This is why I'm a writer in the closet. I can't seem to open the door and let the words just run out. So everyday I have decided to just write words and be present in them. Give myself some pep talks too. "You can write, Pen." "Yes you can. Don't fight it."
My best friend Jaelene says I have magic with words. She has me write all her love letters and thank you notes. Every “Dear John” letter? Written by me. I have a way of letting it down easy with a clean break. I can give her the words she can only imagine. She understands my writing issues and doesn’t ridicule me for not writing my epic novel in my head. That is true friendship right there. I met Jaelene after Eric died.© Renée Soriano
I wrote this on my phone late one night when Penelope spoke to me a few months back. Characters will wake me from my sleep. They'll tell me their story while I'm taking a shower or doing my makeup. I don't always have a chance to write their story down, but when I do, their words flow through me.
I always thought it was weird when I would hear authors and writers talk about their characters. That the characters would will them to write and tell their stories. Writers have to be okay with another voice willing themselves to be written. I am writer, I understand now.
But last night while I was taking a bath, and trying to get through Allegiant once again, something came to me. I got out of the bath, put my pj's one and wrote furiously and fearlessly on my phone again.
I know I will never write a book. I just know deep down inside. So from this post forward and from this point on (in my heart) I will stop feeling bad for not writing the epic novel. Instead I will write my story here. I will write what my heart wants and it will live forever. It will be here for my children to read. I will talk about what I want when I want and I won't be afraid to use my voice. I will stop worrying about who is reading this story and just let the words flow. I will keep inspiring and encouraging and empowering women. I will not stop putting into words what is going on in my life. I will stop sugar coating it and let my voice be heard. From this point and until I have no other words to write... I will not be a famous author but I will be the author of my life. No apologies. If there are readers, companions, who want to read what I have to write they will come. If not it's okay. I am tired of putting myself in a corner and not letting my real words come out. I will once and for all tell what I need and feel and I won't apologize for it. I will not sell out and write what I think others want to hear. I will not censor myself because of a topic I want to talk about that may not get comments or page views. I didn't start writing again because of page views or followers...I didn't even know what those things were when I wanted to start all of this. I am going to be fearless...like that girl.
That girl is someone I discovered last night while scrolling through Instagram. Erin had posted a photo of her and I was reading the comments on the photo. People were saying that they couldn't stop reading her posts. I had to see what all the fuss was about. Halfway to Fearless...I read her posts - pretty much each and every one. They were right. She had her shit together. She just wrote. She doesn't worry about what her niche is...she just writes.
She inspired me last night. Words were flowing last night. I was being brave. I pretty much wrote the mission statement to myself about why I do all of this. Why I started all of this.
I needed it.
So I'm showing you now what comes out of me when the words are there. Being fearless. Being brave. It might not always be pretty. It might sometimes just be a jumble of thoughts to throw out at you. I won't worry about it anymore. I'll just be the writer I know I am inside.
I'm going to let her bravely, triumphantly, unapologetic-ally Shine.