To the Birds for Whom We Write

Joi Donaldson
2 min readJun 16, 2017


Your favorite writer most likely does one or all of the following:
Laughs/cries when subjects hit home
Sucks teeth at op/ed mainstays but crack knuckles as they prepare their flame work.
Sits unbothered as the words won’t come. They know they will. And if not, today just ain’t the day.
Strings together perfect Twitter threads.
Reads constantly or only when they feel like it.
Has a ton of work on draft.
Gets emotional while reading work they forgot they wrote, for better or for worse.
Has a hard time signing shit.
Sleeps with their phone/notebook/pen/tablet by their head. Not on a nightstand. By. Their. Head.
Listens to everyone and no one.
Evolves their voice with nearly every new piece.
Does not care if feelings are hurt.

We as writers do the legwork for most who either can’t or refuse to think for themselves. We jump down deep past the wormhole, thrashing and aching to pull together paragraphs to fit the direct narrative you knew but couldn’t quite put your finger on. We’re always two steps ahead. We sleep with our eyes and ears open, staying at the ready to deduce an impossible standpoint while simultaneously breaking it down to 140 characters or a couple blurbs on a post. We evoke laughter and conscious thought. We are the messenger dodging bullets and sometimes the advocate the devil never requested. We ascend heights to send notes back to earth on what heaven actually looks like. We do the dirty, uncomfortable, dogged work of coming to terms with the ghosts of ourselves we struggle to challenge. We write in our own blood pulled from each vein. We sit cross legged at the edge of volcanoes daring to ask the heat how it got that way. We punch in and never punch out. Ink wells our circulatory center; opinions our nervous system. We feel everything while attempting to remain unscatched by the words we project. We tell the truth. We lie. We spin tales.

Writing can be for the birds. It’s picked at and devoured; tossed down yet to encourage more to soar. We write in order to fly. Your favorite writer is an exhausted phoenix just pining to hit send and bless the world just one more ‘gain.



Joi Donaldson

Author. Filmmaker. Creative.