Do you ever think about deleting it all?

I’ve been chained to my phone lately, my face washed in blue light every evening as I scroll and scroll, on the brink. I want it to be a magic mirror. I want it to speak to me, to give me comfort or answers. Of course it cannot and will never do those things. I scroll anyway.

Maybe it’s more magic 8 ball than magic mirror:

Ask again later.

Don’t count on it.

. . .

Do you ever think about deleting it all?

I’ve thought a lot about deleting everything. I’ve fantasized about clearing out my bookshelves, tossing almost every novel and essay collection. I’d throw away all the books on the craft of writing, anything that reminded me of the dreams and ambitions that now, in this dark wave, seem incredibly stupid. I am sure in these moments that I will never crack them again, that they’ll sit there being useless, painful reminders of the person I’d tried to be unless I purge them from my home.

The fantasy continues when my google account informs me I’m out of storage. I imagine deleting every single document I have saved: all my drafts, the ones half-finished and the ones I’d meant to submit for publication. All my notes and ideas and resources. I imagine hitting the delete button and watching it all blink out of existence, leaving me clean, white, empty space.

I think about what it would be like to just commit to quitting. Just give up. The next time someone asks about writing or reading, just totally blow it off and say I don’t care about that shit anymore. Delete the “professional” email account I use for writing-related stuff, take the word “writer” out of every social media profile or handle I have, let this blog rot, quit trying to read actual books, tell the literary magazine I read submissions for that I’m done with that, too. Clear it all away. Become a blank page, one cleansed of the desire to fill any other blank pages with words.

So, why write this? And most of all, why put it out into the internet?

Maybe I’m just shaking the shit out of this magic 8 ball internet, desperate and furious, demanding a different answer just one more time.

Or maybe I’m fighting back against the depression sludge: laying this all out because it wants me to keep it hidden, writing because it wants me to delete.

Cannot predict now.

Ask again later.

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