courage to write.




Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
- William Wordsworth


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.

Courage, dear heart. You're not alone.

8 comments:

  1. I have also suffered with this. I'm afraid if I let my emotions fly out on paper, I shall be revealing my entire heart, and it frightens me.

    I have this plot idea, The Tales of Annabell Dorix, but it frightens me, as it strikes close to my own soul. In a way, Annabell is me, yet isn't me. I'm scared to write it. But once I do, I'd I do, it will be something powerful. Something strong enough to change lives.

    And isn't that what writers are? Life changers via word craft?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're a beautiful writer. You shouldn't be afraid to share it. :)

    xx,
    Bleah

    p.s. I miss you, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know what the beautiful thing about inspiration is? It comes back around to bless you! This post was immensely inspiring to me because I see someone else who struggles with the same thing yet is determined to be bold and honest! I will make that resolution with you and years from now when critics have bloodied up our hearts yet masses of people have found inspiration and impact in our stories, we will be glad we made it.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to inspire me! Let me know how the writing goes! your patchwork story sounds very intriguing.

    Blessings,
    ~ Liz

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mate, I felt exactly the same way - and still do, about a lot of my personal projects. And here I am with my first novel coming out this year.

    It takes a lot of courage, but believe me, the world isn't the mutli-fanged viper you worry it is. People may not like what you write, but they're usually happy to give you constructive criticism than to tear it to shreds and laugh in your face - I found that out myself. Collaborative writing sites are fantastic for that - people can review it, but as writers they understand how difficult it is to write too, so they're fairer about it. Family is harder, but they'll usually support you anyway. Even if they think you're a loonie.

    Never lose hope. We're all in the same boat, with equally holey buckets ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. You're right...sharing your writing with the world is really tough. I'm always super-nervous to even explain my books to people, let alone let them read an excerpt. But when I finally got a short story of mine out there, the responses I got were nothing like the ones I'd had nightmares about for years. They were positive, encouraging, often humbling. Sharing your writings is, as you said, something you have to do sometime. I've found your writings beautiful, and I think everyone you share them with will, too =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love this! I know exactly what you mean. I've been going through the same thing. I'm scared to let other people read my writing because of what they'll think. This post by 16 year old published author, Rachel Coker, very helpful. http://rachelcoker.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/dealing-with-rejection/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sharing your inner-most workings through writing is scary. You're making your precious thoughts and opinions vulnerable to the scrutiny of others, who may or may not like what you have to say. But in the end, it's worth it. Keep writing :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are a beautiful writer Sky and this post hit home. I write for myself, yet I am scared of sharing my words. Thank you for the encouragement to jump out. One of these days I am going to share my innermost thoughts. One of these days.

    ReplyDelete

Comments make the world go 'round... or was that chocolate?

Thank you for stopping by! I read every single comment and love them all. Seriously, it makes my day. I do my best to comment back!

My only rule is basic respect and honor. Disagreement is accepted, but hate and trolling is not. Otherwise, say what you need to say, and have fun. And don't forget to grab a free complimentary mint on your way out.

Powered by Blogger.