I’m the Jewish mother of writing among my friends. I fuss at them when they don’t write. I push them into writing. I make them feel guilty when they’re not writing. I cheer them on when they do write. I call them at inappropriate times to ask if they are writing. I smother them with love and guilt.
And yet I’m pretty certain that at least one of my friends would have stopped writing if I hadn’t kept pestering her to meet to discuss poems. I’m needy. I need readers. I need feedback. I need affirmation. I throw entire manuscripts, chapters, poems at my friends and ask them what the fuck do I do next?
They pat me on the head. They mark up my poems. They buy me a beer. They curse when I suggest edits they know are true. They tell me it’s a good thing when what I’m writing about makes me cry. They push me to apply for things. They pretend to not notice my coffee breath. They agree to read yet another revision.
I am nothing without you.