The allure of change, the idea that you can alter your normal routine and become a completely different person is intensely appealing to some people. I didn’t use to include myself in that category. I liked knowing what I had to do, where I was going to be, and who I was going to be with (for example: I had a paper to write, I was going to do it at the library, and I was going to be by myself). This was a routine with which I was satisfied and comfortable, as was my life before I left home and moved to my first university after high school.

“...but I know what I feel now so well: this restlessness, this feeling that whatever it is I'm doing, wherever I am, that's not where I'm supposed to be, this fierce compulsion to be everywhere and everything to everyone all at once that leaves me tired and ragged yet still always searching.”– Stephen Markley


Since leaving high school, I haven’t spent more than a year in a singular place. And, here I am moving again. Each place I’ve lived has always held some unsatisfying feeling (lost and questioning) - one that demanded I make drastic and life-altering changes. Those changes usually involved the complete and total overhaul of what my life had previously consisted of: music, clothes, lifestyle, and living quarters.

I couldn’t fathom the reason I was so unsettled. It didn’t make sense! I can sit for hours with my nose in a book, or writing until I can feel the tendons straining in my wrist from overuse. Yet, this was not only a contradiction of personality but of profession.

I’m a writer. It’s partly because of this that I know the restless feeling, the unsettled urge to be constantly changing and reinventing, comes from my creativity and is a reason why I write. I can become whomever I want to be when I write; I can achieve my wildest dreams (and I usually do). It’s because I can do this as a writer that I feel as if I can also accomplish this element of exciting and creative change in reality.

IMG_0559 - Copy.JPG

You often hear the question: why are people constantly devouring others’ stories?

“…it’s simple enough, really: because they give us hope. Because they give us power. Because we want to have that feeling where everything in life melts away and all you have is a pen, a paintbrush, a guitar, a lump of clay, a basketball. We chase dreams because, in the end, it's all we know how to do.”― Stephen Markley

Publishing your work is often just a dream for most people who say they want to be writers. That’s not me being cynical; it’s a fact of the economy and the publishing market, which is extremely competitive. For every writing contest there are thousands of writers vying for the same prize: to have their work praised and seen by readers.

After reading Publish This Book by Stephen Markley, publishing a novel has never seemed so complicated or difficult. I realize that in the time it takes a book to get published (a year, maybe more so, and that’s not counting the time you’ve already taken to write it), I would be moving to another city chasing that elusive, satisfying sense of peace and comfort.

IMG_1195 - Copy.JPG

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”― Ernest Hemingway

Writing, I realize, is the easy part. You just have to do it. Publishing is hard and will require a lot of dedication on my part. Technically I am published: I published this post and many others. My widely-recognized publications, however, have yet to be written.

Even though writing requires time and dedication (usually in a solitary place where you can remain for hours crafting words to tell a story you wish to share with millions of people), this is something I know I wouldn’t want to change. Writing is everything to me, and it’s made even better because I can do it in whatever city in which I end up as I continue to search for where I belong.


Published by Anne Long