Writing is therapy.
How much of yourself do you pour into your writing? The answer may vary dramatically depending on the type of writing you do. No one bares their soul in a technical manual. But fiction writers, poets, lyricists… all inject their own joy and pain, fear and desire into their work. The question is: what do we risk in exposing ourselves to the world? How much do we give? Sharing the very essence of yourself is either crazy or incredibly brave.
Part of it is about trust. Do you trust yourself to convey those thoughts and feelings accurately? Do you trust your readers to understand, to relate? Because that’s kind of the point. We are sharing. We want it to reach someone, to entertain at a minimum, or to move the heart, stir the spirit. This very notion gives your writing weight. It’s a heady thing– moving a soul. Choose carefully, the words you’re about to commit to paper. Craft them with skill, arrange them just so. Speak them aloud to see how they roll off the tongue.
Another part of it is honesty. Do you share the difficult stuff, too? The things that might make your readers cringe? Exposing your fears, flaws, failures, and mistakes opens you up to criticism, rebuke and rejection. And yet that cleansing, that catharsis may be just the thing you need to put out there. Risk or not.
Consider your audience. Who is reading your work? Maybe you’re anonymous here on your blog. That certainly gives you a lot of freedom to post at will. For those of us blogging with full disclosure? Not so much! So what do you do if there’s something just eating away at you?
Some stories just beg to be told. I’ve had an interesting life full of adventures and catastrophes, joys and pain. The painful parts are the hardest to tell but they are also the stories that burn inside. That doesn’t mean I have to write a memoir. But I can tell a story. Wrap a memory in the cloak of fiction and pen the narrative as if it happened to somebody else. All the desperate hopes, crushed dreams and lost loves pour onto the page.
If you look hard enough, my writing empties my veins. More of it flows out every day. If you are able to separate the drops of fact from the volume of fiction, you will see the essence of me. Go ahead and look. I’ll leave you to decide which is which!
What do you say, writers? Do you pour yourself out onto the page?