Earnest Hemingway once said (or maybe wrote) that “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” And that’s the truth!
Writing is the art of pouring out personal truths. It’s revealing things to yourself and eventually to others that can leave you feeling exposed and vulnerable. At times, that vulnerability is scary and for me, it’s almost debilitating. In fact, in college I had a professor tell me that the moment I open myself up on paper is the moment I will find my true voice. I’ve placed that in the far corners of my mind and have tried hard to write the things that make me feel good superficially.
And that is the problem.
I often run out of ideas. I lose interest in my stories, and sometimes my characters are very empty. They are missing life and lack viable experience. But I want to remove any trace of myself from my writing so that I can escape.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I try to include some of myself in my writing but when I do so, I freeze. As a writer, I am very hard on myself. Truthfully, I am very hard on myself period, but when it comes to writing, I am my own worse enemy. I over-edit everything in my head, and when I do allow myself to write, I over-edit that too. It’s quite counter-productive.
A friend suggested that I write my stories- my truths- in a notebook like a freewrite, just continuous writing with no editing or rereading until the notebook is full. It sounded crazy at first, but then I realized that if I continue to stifle my voice, my writing will suffer. I will never be the kind of writer that I want to be and I will never move past abondoned pieces that haunt me from my laptop.
I’ve been trying to break this habit of self-sabotage and had planned to just write in a notebook in pen without white-out. I’m taking a trip to the local dollar store to by some notebooks to start. It’s a scary thought too. I’ve have spent years helping others hone their craft. I have spent years thinking about being a writer but in actuality, I haven’t written much.
*Photo Credit: FU269TWICE