courage to write.
I don't share my writing with anyone very often. It's too personal. Handing off my manuscript to anyone could be compared to a mother handing her baby to a perfect stranger. It just doesn't work.
And yet, if I ever want to succeed at my dream... if I ever want to be a published author and share my work with the world, I'll have to do just that: share my work with the world.
This post by Liz @ Awake struck a chord with me. She writes, "Do you write from the deepest part of your nature? Do you write without fear, unashamed, laying open the beauty and darkness of your own soul so that it may stir the souls of everyone who reads your story? Or are you too afraid, like me?"
This is what I left in a comment. I feel like it's honest enough to share with the whole world. Because this is my heart when it comes to writing the raw truth.
I'm too afraid.
This is something I've been pondering lately. It seems to me that the great novels, the ones that last for centuries, are the ones that are so raw with honesty that your heartstrings are strained by reading. You relate to the characters, you relate to the emotion, because somehow, the author of that book managed to capture your soul.
Now, it's my greatest desire to write like that. But can I? I've been asking myself the same question.
I want to be honest. I want my novels to be raw, true, and defiant of any expectations. But it's going to take time for me to get to the point where I'm willing to share my heart in the form of inkblots on a page.
As you probably already know, I've been plotting for my latest project recently: Souvenirs of a Life Untold. It's the weirdest novel I've ever plotted, and I don't say that lightly. I have no plan. I've been trying to outline, but this novel has been coming together in a different way. Through images that I find on Tumblr. A golden retriever puppy. A violin. A street in the middle of old-style England. A gondola. A mailbox under a lonely tree. Most of the time, I have no idea what significance these things have in the story, and yet the novel is taking shape. Like a quilt, being stitched together.
At the same time, this novel terrifies me. It has the potential to become so powerful, but there is one thing it requires of me: honesty. Brutal honesty. To write my heart out on the page. To put my soul down in the form of words.
That is possibly the most petrifying thing about being a writer: to let your emotions go. To give them wings and let them fly to someone else. To write with full abandon and not care what people think. To hand the critics a stick and say, "Yes. Here is my heart. Poke at it all you wish."
There's one thing you generally don't think that writers need: Courage. Because writing is not easy. It's going to be hard to let my soul bleed onto the pages.
But I'm praying that I have the courage to do it anyway.