Hi my friends!
Do you struggle to be open and transparent in your writing, or do you keep a firm lid on your emotions?
Are you scared of putting too much of yourself 'out there' in your writing?
Are you scared of making yourself vulnerable?
If we shield our most private ideas, insights and feelings we run the risk of our work coming out bland. If vulnerability and fear rule us, we are not present in our own writing to the fullest extent. The reader will tell.
I'm in the third edit of my Harlequin-esque novel. I'm at the stage where I'm examining the story to see if I've gone deeply enough, been true to myself, true to my characters. Have I thought outside the square? Have I been too comfortable, too blase in my words?
At this stage of editing, I've been reading a few 'how-to' books, especially Donald Maas' new tome - 21st Century Writing. Maas always has great advice and is always about digging deep, then digging deeper, upping those stakes. He wants us to make our characters cry - make them suffer - make them vulnerable.
Am I too afraid to do this? There's a fine line between authenticity and vulnerability, but that is where the best writing happens, according to Maas.
But sometimes we're just too afraid. Fear of others' judgment stymies us.
We can let too much of other's opinions influence our work--not discriminating between what's right and true for our book and what's coming from fear of displeasing another (we seem to think everyone knows better than we do) --will avoid writing about certain touchy subjects, diluting their chapters until nothing substantial remains.
As hard as it is, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
The more vulnerability we bring to the page, the more joy and authenticity it will have for us and our readers. If we embrace this vulnerability,
we will believe in ourselves more...eventually.
I'll leave you with a quote from David Bayles and Ted Orland's excellent little book, Art & Fear.
"Fears about art-making fall into two families: fears about yourself, and fears about your reception by others. In a general way, fears about yourself prevent you from doing your best work, while fears about your reception by others prevent you from doing your own work."
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Take time to be joyful to me today, as today is the day my husband and I move house.
My Max Brenner Hug-a-Mug of hot chocolate.
- If you'd like me to come visit you during the A-Z (I want to visit my friends once a week to catch up on their posts), please leave a comment. Makes it easier to comment on my phone when I'm in transit--which is where I do most of my blog commenting.
All the best A - Zers!