~Anyone Can Write. Really?
Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down The Bones, says anyone can become a writer.
Sorry Nat, I disagree.
That’s sort of like implying anyone can fly with the Blue Angels,
Or anyone can audition out for the Bolshoi Ballet,
Or anyone can become President of the United States.
It’s simply not realistic.
Sure, one can take lessons, learn the techniques, memorized the steps, & study the electrical panels, but without passion and slices of soul, without lungs and heart, one is, well, merely ordinary.
I ask you: Is ordinary enough? Is ordinary what you want?
What I mean is, do you write dishonestly, mindlessly, without blood?
If you answered yes, stop reading. This post will not interest you.
~Write Your Experience
Look around. Your narrative, dialogue, and storyline is directly in front of you.
Look at your own bizarre, remarkable family. Weeeeirdos!
Those, them, that is your material!
We all have ‘um. Right?
The auntie who looks like her lips have a hundred bee stings since the botox was inserted like water. You see, she despises aging, but it doesn’t matter a damn— you love, love, love her because she’d wrap her warm fur coat around you when you were a kid and it smelled of vanilla, peppermint schnapps, Tabu perfume, & basil.
What about the sister who was murdered by her husband of 25 years? She didn’t reveal much information about what happened between closed doors, but you read about the unhappiness, hopelessness, & darkness in her remaining journals. Why didn’t she tell you, ask for help? He was always a son-of-a-bitch.
Hoarding the information for yourself is
stupid like hiding a candle in the corner of a dim room.
Everything goes deeper than what we first imagined.
Remember the film, “A Few Good Men?”
That extraordinary scene where Jack Nicholson roars, “You can’t handle the truth!”
Yes. Yes, I can.
This is the kind of writing I want to read and this is the kind of writing I want to write.
How about you?
~Make Them Feel Alive
Nobody has the same narrative as you, the same experience, the same family dynamics.
You are extraordinary. You are exceptional.
You are a fucking super star.
Let me tell you something. Don’t forget this.
It doesn’t matter a damn if you have a MFA in Writing, or if you’ve read every ‘how to write’ book in the library, or if you’ve graduated from Harvard.
If you don’t dig deep inside and remove something of yourself to give your readers…
…you’ve lost them. Remember, if you don’t feel–The reader will not feel either.
Give them something they can identify with, something that makes their pulse quicken, something that makes them angry, laugh, cry, and mostly, something that makes them feel fully alive.
—For example, a beating heart is sufficient.
~~~~Dear, Reader, name a book, poem, or short story that kicked your ass, made you feel, dug deep, & gave you something to ponder? xxX