Yesterday I posted a personal essay that was difficult to do. Today, I want to tie that to the craft of writing.
If you write something that dips into your deepest emotions, if you write something brutally honest, something that makes you squirm uncomfortably, or be a little fearful of ‘putting it out there’ then you’ve written something true. And even if those who read it have never been in that situation, they will respond and recognize the underlying emotions.
If you read something that makes you squirm a bit, that causes an emotional reaction, that sticks with you and won’t let you go after the last word has been digested, then the writer has succeeded.
If you can’t touch those deepest wells of emotion, if you can’t be brutally honest in your writing, if you can’t pull up words that battle to stay hidden, then you’ll have a hard time eliciting responses in your readers.
No one ever said writing was easy.
When you write something that scares you because of that honesty, and your trusted friend reads it and says ‘holy shit!’ then you know you’ve been true to your inner soul.
When you think your writing is filled with believable characters with honest emotions, go back and see if you can dig a little deeper, pull off a few more scabs, and expose a few more wounds.
If you’re afraid to write it, then it needs to be written.
If it won’t let you go, it needs to go into words.