A Writer’s Vulnerable Heart (Part One)

     “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”  –Brene Brown
    “I can’t write to please everyone, but someone, somewhere will be touched if I put my heart into it.”-Sara Winters
    “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”-William Wordsworth
crying eye
My mind is full of rich and varied images.  Layers of story lines twist and turn with one another; sometimes overlapping, other times becoming as one.  Faces of characters float before my eyes with expressions of pain, joy, and anger.  They’re all there.  In my head.
    Yet, when I write them down on paper (or through the keyboard), the emotions are well, flat.  Stale.  Lifeless.
    I even had a few editors, two especially, who’d read different short stories and both came to the same conclusion:  my characters lacked emotions.
    Really? 
    Funny, when I “act” out various scenes in my head, the strong emotions would rush to the surface, and occasionally, I’d find myself crying, or laughing.   But, why can’t I make these same emotions flow through my characters?
    What’s wrong with my characters?
    What’s wrong with me?
    All my life I have suppressed my emotions.  Especially the tears.  For me, they were signs of weakness.   Heck, I even have difficulties with intimacy in my marriage because it requires me to be vulnerable.
    Vulnerability=weakness.
    I crave connection with people; yet I shy away from them.
    Fear.  Of. What???
    One of my biggest fears is ending up alone.  And that’s exactly where my current path is leading me.
    Sad, huh?
    No, its pathetic!
    Bottom line, I know if I don’t resolve these issues on a personal level, as a writer I will never truly reach people.  Touch them.   Because in order to do that, I need to expose my inner soul, my wounded heart; I need to show my vulnerabilities through the characters, reveal them all to the world; only then, will I be able to touch readers with words.
    If only…
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“Writers are a courageous lot”

I came across a passage written by Anthony J.W. Benson  that I like to share with my fellow readers.  It talks about writers and their struggles.

“Writers are a courageous lot. Often embattled by confusion, distraction and persistent dissatisfaction, they fight through pain, sweat and tears, as well as the unforgiving blinding glare of the blank page, to bring their thoughts forth.  As the internal war rages, they are capable of great victories, and great defeats. Yet, in the face of creative adversity those who choose to break free and follow the beacon of truth, emotion and passion have the indefensible power to emancipate themselves, and thus the reader, with their bravery and well-chosen words—a  singular, yet shared, freedom of being truly beholden to no one, and nothing, except their soul that calls to them.”

Did his words speak to you, move you as a writer?

 

Life is one messed-up business

*This was a post I wrote for one of my other blogs, Whispering Shadows, and I feel compelled to share here as I’m still struggling with these same thoughts and feelings.

 

Do you ever get the feeling…no, it’s more than just a feeling, it’s almost a “knowing” or “gut instinct” about something?   You keep trying to pursue certain paths in your life that just doesn’t quite “click,” but you’re not ready to admit to this so you keep fighting against this “knowing,” keep pushing down these same paths and whenever you meet minimal success, you somehow don’t feel completely content or fulfilled.  That inner nagging is always there, telling you that these paths are not the right ones for you; but, you don’t want to listen.  You want to do what you “want” to do, not because of some inner voice from an unseen place is telling you to.  Over time, you begin to notice that the harder you fight against this “knowing” the more unsettled you begin to feel.  You start to doubt your place in this world, your unique purpose in this life (whatever that may be).  Misery and doubt begin to plague your every waking moment. You grow weary of the “whispers” that constantly follow you everywhere.

So, should I believe in destiny and fate then?  Should I give in to these inner voices and go where they tell me to go?  Would I then finally find lasting peace knowing that I’m doing what I was born to do?

Shouldn’t I be able to choose rather than have it chosen for me?

Am I really making any sense here?

Life is such a messed-up business.

To Write Or Not To Write

When is a writer no longer a writer?

Can life really beat the writer out of a person?

If one stops writing, does that mean the end for the writer?

I think if you’ve been a writer for so many years, it is possible you could feel there is no more stories within to share with the world.   What happens then?  Do you contemplate “retirement” as I’m sure many have done?  Or, rather, just take a break and pursue another creative endeavor?

In my personal experience, I took a seven-year “break” from writing for various reasons.  In the end, I found that I needed to be a writer in order to truly live.  I needed to write in order to battle the internal demons that kept haunting me.  For me, writing was the only way to make sense of this thing called life (as well as death which plagued me since I was a girl).

I believe a writer is always a writer.  You can stop writing for a while, but you can’t stop  forever.  An event, or a person, or a memory will suddenly trigger the creative hunger that had lied dormant, and you find that you must write or risk insanity.  Or, worse.

Okay, okay…writers are pretty much considered crazy or odd anyway.  How much worse could we possibly get???

Only you can answer that.

An incurable itch for scribbling takes possession of many, and grows inveterate in their insane breasts.  ~Juvenal, Satires

Being an author is being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.  ~Terri Guillemets

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.  ~Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades, 1947

 

Wall

I feel like I’ve hit a wall the past few days.  I have many projects on the back burner that need my attention, and there are oodles of ideas rolling around in my head demanding my undivided attention; then, why can’t I just pick up a pen and start writing?

It feels like an invisible force is holding my hands hostage.   It won’t allow me to reach for a pen, or even pull up the MS Word on the computer.

What is going on here?

Why?

Granted, a lot have happened this past month that probably would have “blocked” anyone, but still.   I’m a writer.  It is what I must do.

And I can’t.

Grr!

Drunk On Writing

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.  ~Ray Bradbury

This will be my new inspirational quote especially after the kind of month I had in July.   Writing as well as my good friend, Muse, have been my constant and true companions during these dark days as they have always been in the past.  I love having the ability to withdraw into the imaginary worlds which dwell in my mind, as well as being able to lose myself completely and utterly whenever I take up a pen.   So, when I read this particular quote this evening, it just rang loud and true to me.

Yes, I intend to remain perpetually drunk on writing so that I’m able to weather the storms of life!