If I Wrote About You, It's Because You Mattered
One thing that comes with sharing writing with the world is the inevitable guessing of who the person I have chosen to write about might be. Unless I know that person would be happy to be named, many (this is especially true from when I first started blogging) remain nameless. So constantly I hear all kind of comments all the time about what I'm going to write about someone and I'll fake laugh along, maybe throw in an, “I know, watch out!” of my own. More often than not I simply ignore it because the jokes are old and unoriginal and, frankly, people can do better.
But when going through my archives from days and months and years gone by I’ll stumble across an old title or a sentence I love that I wrote about someone specific. Rather than thinking, “oh I really showed them by writing those things,” it’s more a feeling of nostalgia. I'm not flooded with anger or resentment about anyone. Instead I think about hands leading me through crowds, blue eyes staring at me from across tables, or the way their face lit up when he noticed I'd arrived.
It’s not about attacking you; it’s about treasuring something I cared about.
There’s this negative association that being written about is always bad thing. It’s something to be avoided, something to never want.
Watch out for the musician or you’ll be a song.
Watch out for the poet or they’ll look for a rhyme to your name.
Watch out for the writer or you’ll be semi-anonymously criticised forever.
It’s as if getting to know someone who pours their real life into their creativity automatically means putting yourself up for crucifixion. They pan through pieces to be sure they didn’t make an appearance. They pretend to laugh it off when someone compares you to Taylor Swift and assures that they've never shown up in your work. But then they’ll see a phrase or a title and send a panic-riddled text reading with no sense of chill, “Is that about me?”
To which that I have to ask, “So what if it is?”
So what if it is about you, or inspired by you? So what if I wrote it at almost two in the morning and hoped someday you would see it and recognise the line about your teeshirt? So what if I published something about the friend who said something that broke my heart so terribly and I didn’t worry about whether a mutual friend could put two and two together?
I don’t write about things that bore me. I don’t write about things just for the sake of writing. I don’t write about things that are mundane and ordinary. I don’t write about every day occurrences or something I know will come up again on just any other Tuesday. I don’t write something unless it’s worth spending the time to write about.
To be written about is honestly flattering. It means:
Look at this. Look how much of an impression you made on me. You affected my life to such a degree that I couldn't contain it and had to expel it in the only way I know how. I was so inspired by you that I had to remember it forever. You changed me, shaped me. You were important. And you were so important I had to make you, us, as permanent as I could.
Every time I get to know an artistically driven person I think about what it's like to know that feeling. To hear a melody, see a canvas, or read something and be metaphorically hit in the face with a secret. That jarring, sudden-punch-to-the-gut to silently know, “holy crap that’s about me.”
And you know what? Recently that did happen, and I was so honoured.
I was worth writing about. I wasn’t just someone they met or I wasn’t just another girl who said, “I bet you’re going to do amazing things someday.” It means that I resonated, that I left a mark.
I want nothing more than to mean enough to you to be written about.
So if I write about you, it means you meant a lot to me.