Photo by Patrick Fore

Writing is a difficult process, it’s like bleeding into a blank page, translating feelings, frustrations, resentment and joy into sentences. I like the idea of writing as bringing words into existence; it is finally there, physically, something that only existed in your head is finally out in the world.

During the last couple of months I have worked on my first book. I’m still revising it and working with some editors in order to put out there the best version of it. I know for sure that it isn’t perfect, although it is what I can do right now and I won’t wait any longer to produce anything other than what’s viable.

I’m tired of “next times”. I don’t even know if I’ll have any other chance to publish it. Remember you’ll die soon. Memento mori.

When you decide to write something based on memories you feel completely naked in front of the words. There’s a lot of vulnerability in telling stories of yourself, but it can also set you free in many different ways. Believe me, I’m not expecting to learn anything else other than how hard it is to write but there is something therapeutic in bringing thoughts into the existence, blending reality and fiction, creating narratives.

I’m remaining the rest of 2020 in complete silence. I want to hear my own words, experience this idea of vulnerability and prepare myself for the release of the book. As I’ve sent an almost final version to the editors and had a couple of Zoom meetings with designers responsible for the cover and so on, I kind of freaked out: it’s real, it’s happening. It’s not a distant project or an aspiration.

It may be the case that I’d publish the book and disappear. A couple of years later I come back for another round. To be honest, the idea of going away is quite interesting. A cabin in the woods, a new life somewhere else. Everything’s possible and the other day I had a dream with Macondo (or whatever I think Macondo is), I believe it’s a call from Garcia Marques.

My desk is full of notes, the printer hasn’t stopped working today and my brain is going way too far this weekend. I’m working on it slowly, letting the ideas sink, thinking about my word choices, the verbs I’ve used. I’m wondering if there’s any other beautiful way to write if not in a Latin language. I’m enjoying to be by myself, to not speak with anyone else for almost the whole of my days. I’m exiled and I really like the feeling of making myself a cup of coffee in the middle of the night while I go through a chapter of any random book I’m reading at the moment.

It’s always been hard for me to deal with vulnerability and to like whatever I’m doing. It’s always been a complete clutter when it comes to organising my thoughts. And it has been even worse to enjoy whatever I decide to do. I used to write for newspapers and never read the articles after sending them to the editors. I was always scared it was completely garbage, and the relief would only come when I’d check if it was published in the next day’s paper by reading the headlines only.

I still feel that way, I’m still that young insecure boy who wanted to write and travel. I’m learning how to deal with myself, how to treat myself with kindness. There’s an avalanche of emotions rolling from the top of the mountain and I hear it coming from miles away. I’m standing alone but, for the first time in my life, I feel like I can handle it in a way or another.

I’m letting the avalanche come and, in the meanwhile, I’m writing stories about it.

I’ve opened myself up and now I feel vulnerable in a level I probably never did in my whole life. But I won’t go back. It’s like the final act of a play. It does feel like it right now.

In my head I hear this song playing non-stop. It’s a reminder to hold my head up high.

Onward,

Peri

Brazilian journalist currently based in Lisbon, Portugal. I write mainly in Portuguese, sometimes in English.

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