Write what you’re meant to write


Edgar Allan Poe died today in 1849. If you know Poe, you know that his end was as tragic as his macabre tales. While Poe was known as a writer during his life, he struggled; he struggled with critics and bills and the stress of keeping and maintaining a family. He was one of us, a writer who aimed only to create.


My life continues to take on more responsibility, family, financial, career, and side careers of teaching and mentoring, but I still find time to write. I believe that this is what I’m meant to do, but I doubt myself, like many do. I get frustrated, like many do. I see people who can leave their careers and focus on writing and I get jealous. I see people who have been in this writing game a short period of time and they get an agent and I get jealous. I get jealous of people who have these fantastic circles of friends on twitter and seem to always be communicating with one another, and yes, I feel jealous. It’s human sometimes to feel jealous. Writing is solitary. I’ve never been drawn to big circles of people, but I do like the support, and yes, I have 1 support person – my husband. At least I have someone who keeps encouraging me to write. Of course, I would love the support of a larger writing community, or an agent, and a fancy publisher, but I don’t have that, and so what am I supposed to do? I’m supposed to write because that’s all I can do. I can’t live waiting and hoping what tomorrow will give me. I don’t know if I’ll get hit by a stray bullet (in Chicago, it happens), and so I have to keep writing.


One writing instructor once told me ‘Write the story you are meant to write.’ I believe him, I believe that there’s still something I’m meant to write, and I hope I find it. I have a pile of works in progress, an anthology I’m editing, but I have this crazy anxiety that I need to do more, that I need to shout at people and say ‘Look, I’m doing something over here and it’s great,’ but I have to fall back and just write the words. That’s all I can do. If more people gravitate toward me, toward my words then I did it, I set out what I wanted to do. Still, there’s that story in me that I’m meant to write and I hope I find it.


Poe is with me now and he’ll always be with me. I’ve visited his gravesite four times, and I feel like I owe him that much for inspiring me with his words. On this tragic death date, I hope that I can honor Poe with the writer I am and the writer I hope to be one day.



Categories: Blog

Cynthia Pelayo

Cynthia (cina) Pelayo is the author of short story collection Loteria and the young adult horror novel Santa Muerte published by Post Mortem Press. Her short stories and poems have appeared in DM, Weird Year, Flashes in the Dark, SNM Horror Magazine, Seedpod, Static Movement, and more. Pelayo is the Publisher/Gravedigger of Burial Day Books and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. She is currently at work on two novels and a series of short stories and poems. You can find her on Twitter at @cinapelayo or at cinapelayo.com