The Beautiful Masochism

Writing is painful.

It’s like dragging yourself across hot coals or yanking at thorned vines interlaced in your skin. It’s flaying your soul open and poking at mottled bruises to remember what the ache feels like. It’s staring at a computer screen or blank sheet of notebook paper and seeing the story unfold in your mind but in a language that you don’t know how to speak. It’s a cup of cold coffee next to your elbow as you keep distracting yourself with Vine videos rather than keep staring into the abyss, knowing full well it’s staring back into you. It’s pre-written rejection letters and furiously deleting words you love so fiercely that you have to let them die. It’s going a whole day without writing and waking up in the middle of the night as if you left the oven on and the house is burning down around you. It’s forcing your fingers to press each individual key until somehow there’s a word and then a sentence and then a paragraph and then a page and three hours later you’ve forgotten to eat.

And yet, somehow, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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