RIP Maggie Estep

by soozkim

She died at the age of 50 of a heart attack, according to the NY Times.   50 is young.  It doesn’t seem young if you are five or 25.  But when you are 43, it’s unspeakably young.

I encountered her years ago, during a phase in which I was enraptured and enchanted by spoken word and slam poets.

In a parting gift, I have been pointed, years and years later to her blog, as I start to dig through it – I am struck first by a post titled: Hating what I love.

“… I don’t’ actually LIKE writing.  It’s HORRIBLE.

It’s just that I would die without it.  I HAVE TO WRITE because I don’t know what else to do with my mind, how else to make sense of the world and its inhabitants.   For whatever reason, I have trained myself, for many years, to do this thing.  And when I don’t do this thing, I get crazy.  No amount of yoga, bicycle racing, rapacious sex, or buying things can take the place of writing.  If I don’t write, I die.” – Maggie Estep

A writer is a person who writes.  Fuck anyone who tells you that you are not because you don’t get paid, because you are not good, because you are unpublished, because you are unread, because you can’t spell.  Including you for telling yourself.  Fuck that.  Just write.  Write because you want to.  Write because you have to.  It’s hard.  It’s lonely.  It’s painful.  We hate it.  Maybe no one will ever read it.  And if they read it, maybe they will hate it.  But do it anyway.  Write.  And then write some more.  For Maggie.