Writing is daunting. It is difficult, disastrous, and dizzying. Being a girl that never seems to stop talking, I find myself continually avoiding the taunting blank pages of my ubiquitous notebooks by ignoring my pens, hiding my books, and only opening Microsoft Word if I must type up a homework assignment. These self-described "writing hiatuses" are unconscious; I have loved storytelling for as long as I can remember, so why would I deliberately deter myself from engaging in one of my most treasured activities?
I have not blogged since January. Alas, it is now March. This is not the first time I have strayed from Pull This Off for an extended period of time; click through the archive calendar to find the multitude of other months that are also bare of articles. I started this blog approximately a year and a half ago, but I was actively writing long before I launched what has seem to become my "claim to fame"; however, I rarely shared my works with anyone besides my teachers and my parents. I didn't necessarily feel that my short stories, essays, and attempted novels were too sacred or that they needed to be shielded from criticism, but instead I feel as if they was too private for others to read. Now that I'm writing for an audience, publicly and permanently exposing myself for the entire community of the World Wide Web to see, I continually struggle with what exactly it is I want to say. My articles define me; the messages I promote and the topics I dissect are what I'm presenting as the products of my mind, what I have to show of my intelligence and capability.
I am a very private person and have learned through trial and error how much I can say by saying nothing at all, yet I transcribe my personal experiences in great depth and transparency for thousands of people to read. This cognitive dissonance destroys me internally -- I sometimes share with my readers more details of events than I do when originally recounting the stories to my mother and friends. Is it that I am more comfortable sharing with strangers than I am with my loved ones? Or have I not yet learned how to draw the line between personal and professional?
Truthfully I am only seventeen, and this is merely an online module for my thoughts. Yet as I search Instagram uploads and newspaper articles for a subject to dwell on, the cloudiness of my future prevents me from starting (and finishing) a piece. In a matter of months I will be embarking to New York City, heading off to college to the start of the rest of my life. It's exhilarating and the dream I always envisioned for myself, yet the normal anxieties that are facing every high school senior are weighing on my shoulders. Before I even applied to college I was set on becoming a fashion journalist -- I found politics to be too confusing and complicated, and with the death of my father to deal with as the tragedy of my lifetime, reporting on the horrific misfortunes of others in the world seemed too morbid and grim. Now, however, as I'm mentally preparing to be on my own in a massive city with a million opportunities at my fingertips, confining myself to such a seemingly narrow title is stressful. Yes, I am only one person, but I am one person that can and is and will be great at many, many things.
I am fascinated by fashion and beauty and art and music. However I am also intrigued by social evolvement, women's rights, animal rights, environmental changes, media controversies, technological advancements and their effects on populations, and so much more. I am gaining interest in screenwriting and investigative journalism. If I were to explain my interests to someone that has never met me, someone who has no idea who I am or what I stand for, I would emphasize that I am interested in communication and culture. The messages I want to send with my voice, my blog, and my writing through these personal essays that I post on Pull This Off are that we as individuals are responsible for what is happening around us; we are in charge of changing society to promote the positivity we all yearn for. When I write, I want to instill confidence and gratitude into my readers. I want to prove to girls and women that it is possible to simultaneously care about the quality of your appearance and the contents of your brain, that liking fashion shows and beauty how-to's does not detract from your ability to debate your opponent into a corner and write an educated reflection of Hamlet. I want to promote discussion, to make people laugh while also making them think. I want to challenge myself while challenging others. And most of all, I just love to write.
Another "writing hiatus" has concluded. As I evolve as an individual, my definitive writing voice transforms as well -- the more I think about my future, the more the future of Pull This Off becomes crystal clear. I love the seduction of mystery and the sweetness of surprise, so while I won't tell you what is to come, I do know that whatever direction I decide to take with my writing, it will be the truest reflection of my innermost self. You may ask, "Who is that girl?" and my answer is that this girl is whoever she wants to be. I am Molly Mintz, and only I can define myself.
Photo by Terry Richardson for i-D Magazine, 1996.