This piece was originally submitted to Funds for Writers as an entry into their annual writing contest, which had a theme of Invisible Writing.

Tonight I am perusing the online archives of The Sun Magazine.  I am reading, reflecting, dreaming, planning. I love the essays printed in The Sun. I marvel at the varied themes and writing styles, the mix of fiction and non-fiction that show it can be done beautifully both ways. Even through the cold glow of the monitor, the writing feeds my motivation, making my finger tips buzzy and warm with the need to punch keys with literary purpose.

I have never held a paper copy of The Sun in my hands, but until just a few moments ago, I was holding a pretend copy, an invisible copy.  I only put it down so I could write this.  In my invisible copy of The Sun, I can see my byline if I squint really hard.  I just can’t see the words that go together to make up the essay.  They’re still invisible.  But I know that they are inside of me somewhere. So I practice my writing, and I research markets, and I wait for things of substance to happen to me, so that gradually, my words, my stories, become less and less invisible.

Of course, I know that even once my writing becomes visible to me, it’s a long jump to visibility for the masses. These words that I’ve typed out on the screen cannot confirm a byline for me.  First, my invisible words must make the journey to a far away place where those possibly pretend and definitely invisible people called editors can decide whether they can see my writing or not.  Some editors might be able to see the copy on the page, the jumble of letters and words, while my purpose, my feeling, my vulnerability is still invisible.  Other editors may recognize the baby that I’ve sent wrapped in paper blankets as a unique and valuable being, but cannot see the words needed to show the true value of that baby.

And so, my words, my babies, might remain invisible for longer than I would hope.  It’s ok though, because I am the mother of all that I have written, and as long as I continue to love my writing, to raise my words up right, to cherish this invisible time that I have alone with them, I know that some day they will do me proud out in the wide world.  When that day comes, I will be thankful to bask in the warm success of publication, and simultaneously will make mental note to not forget what it feels like to squint out my byline in The (invisible) Sun.

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