Friday, January 7, 2011

Honesty in Writing

Where does your writing come from? The real you? The honest you? The you you’ve kept hidden in those inner recesses? To write well requires letting go of affectations, letting go of pretences. It means delving into the soul of a matter and expressing the truth as you see it. It’s about feeding the passion and, at the same time, shaping it into your vision.

We can’t write someone else’s story. When we try, we hover on the surface and stay where we think we are safe. But we won’t find the passion there. We won’t find the magic.

Our beauty comes from our individuality. We need to find the courage to revel in that uniqueness, to be proud of it, and let others see it.

For me writing is like stepping out from a cave into the sunshine – scary, exposing, but wonderful. What is writing like for you?

35 comments:

  1. For me, writing is an opportunity to teach a class larger than the students in my actual room. As you said, "we can't write someone else's story." I've opted to write for an audience I have studied. I select topics I am passionate about; the timely situations I feel need to be addressed from my observations interacting with teens. And most importantly, aside from being an escape and a passion, writing allows me to speak the truth. As a teacher, I have to filter my words, even if it means compromising who I am. As a writer, I don't have to do that.

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  2. This is so lovely. I've found that when I start a MIP, I may *think* I'm not writing about someone who is like me, or has my issues ... eventually, insights start to roll in like waves, and I discover how much like me this character and her situation really is.

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  3. Paul, an opportunity toi teach, yes! Writing must be particularly freeing for you :)

    Catherine, haha yep, I do that all the time.

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  4. indeed, Lyndylove, being unique is the utter goal to all intelligent and enlightened beings! You can't really be an artist without being unique, otherwise you are just someone who is chasing money and copying others.

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  5. Dezzy, it's the uniqueness that makes it art. Now, to find the balance between art and making a living.

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  6. Aww this is nice!!!

    Writing a story for me is gut-wrenching and like pulling my nails out with a pair of pliers (not that I know how this feels but it sounds ever so painful). The healing balm is of course, if some complete stranger likes the end result!

    And then I'd do it again. Sigh.

    Take care
    x

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  7. In Nursing, nurses just can't chart for another. Same thing with writing, I am grateful that I can express things the way I see them and let go of the fear that others might not agree with me. But through those differences, I know I can learn from them, too. God bless.

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  8. Writing for me is a way of realizing all differences and ways of looking at a certain situation--a way of getting out all the feelings I don't express when I'm around in person. Sometimes it does feel exposing, but it's also a relief.

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  9. I've been thinking about how powerful authenticity is in writing. I really like your description of writing being like coming out of a cave into the sunshine.

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  10. For me, its a culmination of many things - passion, escapism, inspirational characters, experiences, and much much more. ;)

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  11. Writing is a chance to empty my head, the way they used to do bloodletting for illness... :)

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  12. I don't know whether it's good or bad, but my writing is coming from someone I didn't know was there. I just hope nobody kills me!

    Did that all sound crazy?

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  13. Yeah, I think my writing comes from my heart/soul/whatever you wanna call it. :D Then again, I start some stories and don't have the 'heart' to continue them. Interesting, that :)

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  14. I love those questions you opened with!

    My writing comes from the vulnerable me.

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  15. Writing is the part of me that yearns to be elsewhere.

    Excellent post!

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  16. very true! but it can be scary to expose yourself so honestly!

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  17. For me writing is a way of exposing what is going on in the inner recesses of my mind; via the story, character and resolution. Sometimes few stories weigh me down until I have put them on paper.

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  18. Ah, writing with the filters off - which is how we find our voice. It's exhilerating, isn't it?

    Sometimes I find myself censoring myself - thinking about who will read it. Then I change who I'm writing to. There are people I'm comfortable writing different things to. So, I pretend I'm writing to them to get the filters down. Takes practice to get comfortable with exposing ourselves that way. Yet we can always hide behind 'it's fiction'. :D

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  19. Writing and art. What a combination!And we do reach and touch many more people through writing than we ever do as a teacher of a brick and mortar class.

    I love your photo. Writing is so much better for me if there is an illustration or three!

    Monti
    NotesAlongTheWay

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  20. Old Kitty, hehe yep, I know what you mean :)

    Rcubes, yes exactly. We learn through each other's differences.

    Golden, a definite relief. I think writing keeps us writers sane ;)

    Belle, I imagine it's not the same for everyone, but I'm a particularly shy person, so that description works for me ;)

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  21. Talei, yes and yes!

    Laura, hahaha awesome! Theraputic.

    Hanny, I think all the best writers sound a little crazy at times -- at elast, that's what I tell myself ;)

    Trisha, some stories speak louder to us. I have heaps of unfinished stories in my files. Heaps.

    Janna, I think that's the best place. It's the vulnerable side of us that people will respond to in our writing.

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  22. Kelly, oh yes, I can relate to that.
    I'm the same.

    Aspiring, seriously scary.

    Rachna, writing is liberating in many ways.

    M Pax, in my first draft I try to only write for me as if no one else will read it. It's another way of removing the filters. And yes, it takes practise.

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  23. Monti, I took the photo in South Australia near the 12 Apostles coastal rock formation. It's an amazing place. Visuals inspire me as well.

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  24. Writing is a way to enjoy an adventure I will never be able to live. (You know - space travel and teleportation and all that!)

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  25. Alex, yes! That's the whole reason I started writing as a teenager. I loved to visit impossible worlds.

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  26. Writing is how I get to live lives that aren't really mine. I especially love creating relationships between characters and seeing how they interact with each other.

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  27. Some really good advice in your post also, enjoyed reading this.
    I like writing fantasy, something I can imagine and see in my own mind, but put real characters in it who adapt the some traits of personalities from people I know in real life

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  28. for me writing's like running. When I get a new story, I HAVE to get it out, and the more I go without writing it, the more pent up I feel... And you're right. You have to be true to your story~ :o) <3

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  29. I really like this description and the beautiful way you described how writing should be. I SO agree with you!!Good picture too!

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  30. So true, the best writers write from the heart; and we all have unique hearts.

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  31. I guess my writing comes from what I wish for all kiddos...an ideal childhood... Great post and great dialogue, Lynda!

    Happy New Year!

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  32. Part of it is therapy. Another is getting to experience things that I never will in reality.

    I also love the challenge. What I don't love is the residue that remains after delving into the antagonists mind....yuck.

    I think that's part of what I've been experiencing the past several weeks. Opening myself emotionally to the story, holding nothing back. Whew!

    But I gotta say, it was worth it.

    Insightful post!

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  33. What an insightful post ...

    THere's a favorite quote that says something about writing being like my arm, only I love it more than my arm - that quote, and I wish I could find it, says it all...

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  34. Susan, exploring different charactrs is probably one of the best things about writing.

    Dempsey, that's what I like about fantasy too -- interesting characters in fabulous settings.

    LTM, I've not thought of writing like running, but it's true :)

    Toyin, yes, we do all have unique hearts

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  35. Sharon, thanks :)

    Words Crafter, writing can be draining on so many levels, but like you said, it's so worth it.

    Kathryn, love the gist of that quote. I can relate.

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