Emptying your veins onto the page.

Writing is therapy.

How much of yourself do you pour into your writing?  The answer may vary dramatically depending on the type of writing you do.  No one bares their soul in a technical manual.  But fiction writers, poets, lyricists… all inject their own joy and pain, fear and desire into their work.  The question is: what do we risk in exposing ourselves to the world?  How much do we give?  Sharing the very essence of yourself is either crazy or incredibly brave.

Part of it is about trust.  Do you trust yourself to convey those thoughts and feelings accurately?  Do you trust your readers to understand, to relate?  Because that’s kind of the point.  We are sharing.  We want it to reach someone, to entertain at a minimum, or to move the heart, stir the spirit.  This very notion gives your writing weight.  It’s a heady thing– moving a soul.  Choose carefully, the words you’re about to commit to paper.  Craft them with skill, arrange them just so.  Speak them aloud to see how they roll off the tongue.

Another part of it is honesty.  Do you share the difficult stuff, too?  The things that might make your readers cringe?  Exposing your fears, flaws, failures, and mistakes opens you up to criticism, rebuke and rejection.  And yet that cleansing, that catharsis may be just the thing you need to put out there.  Risk or not.

Consider your audience.  Who is reading your work?  Maybe you’re anonymous here on your blog.  That certainly gives you a lot of freedom to post at will.  For those of us blogging with full disclosure?  Not so much!  So what do you do if there’s something just eating away at you?

Some stories just beg to be told.  I’ve had an interesting life full of adventures and catastrophes, joys and pain.  The painful parts are the hardest to tell but they are also the stories that burn inside.  That doesn’t mean I have to write a memoir.  But I can tell a story.  Wrap a memory in the cloak of fiction and pen the narrative as if it happened to somebody else.  All the desperate hopes, crushed dreams and lost loves pour onto the page.

If you look hard enough, my writing empties my veins.  More of it flows out every day.  If you are able to separate the drops of fact from the volume of fiction, you will see the essence of me.  Go ahead and look.  I’ll leave you to decide which is which!

What do you say, writers?  Do you pour yourself out onto the page?

 

48 thoughts on “Emptying your veins onto the page.

  1. Sometimes I worry there’s too much of me showing in my writing. I am relatively anonymous here but still.

    This is a very interesting post at the moment because last night I wrote something I intended to share, but I’m not sure I ever will… not sure if I can. Sometimes, throwing too much of me out there makes me worry about causing people to run away screaming and never look back…

    I think part of it is knowing (or thinking I know) what people expect from me here. It would be nice if I could get it out of me hidden in fiction, but I’m not sure I can do it… And it’ll probably still read like it’s me anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not a writer. But by doing this adventure, of starting and adding to this blog, I’ve become one of sorts, I suppose. Yes, I’ve put things out, for the theoretical world to see. Things that only my wife and a handful of close know about me. There’s more to tell, but I’ll get to it, I guess. I find it cathartic to be sure. I don’t know if it’s brave or stupid, or if anybody really even cares. But I don’t do it for “them”,I do it for me. For better or worse. I can tell you this though, I admire those of you who are writers. Y’all are fantastic and I’m happy to have found those that I have. Great post my friend! πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are moments when I have something composed and I can’t bring myself to hit publish. Posts that languish in my drafts folder out of fear. I spend hours editing them into unrecognizability. Yet buried deep is the truth. And it feels good to tell it, no matter how murkily its shrouded! Thank you for coming along on this journey, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I pour out that which I want to share, and no more… there are things about my health and my family that will remain off my blog, because I do not wish to share them (or certainly not the full details). There are also topics that may interest me, but will not feature on my blog because I am serious about my writing career, and want my blog to be my calling card… if I’m submitting children’s stories, I can hardly fill my blog with pornographic content, can I? (More likely, rude poetry in my case, but it’s the same point!)

    There is always a risk with trying different material with your audience. I know some people have switched off from my blog since I’ve been doing the zombie haiku… that’s their choice. Trying to please all of the people is a fool’s errand. I also know now that there is a small group of bloggers – including yourself – that are willing to indulge me, and will respond positively and supportively, probably whatever I do… and if you are saying that there is something that you really want to write, then I REALLY want to read it! Whatever you’re comfortable sharing, there will be an audience for x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Al, that is precisely the thing! I’m serious about my writing, too. Thus the things I post here, have to fit in with my goals. And yet, the longer I write, the more personal my writing becomes. But the beauty of fiction writing is that all those experiences, emotions and so forth can be expressed through the perspective of a character. It lets you off the hook a bit! And yes, there are some things I really want to write! Thanks for your kind words, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. Sometimes my wife will read one of my poems and give me a look that says “that’s a bit close to home”. The truth is they’re all close to home, to some degree. That’s just what “writing what you know” means πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Every last drop..holding nothing back. I am honored when someone says they were moved to tears by something I’ve written. It’s a powerful thing to touch a heart in such a way. I consider it a privilege to be blessed with the gift to do such a thing. I have included a warning on one of my pieces quite some time ago bc it dealt with so many tragic emotions that I couldnt hold myself together while writing it..I expected others so have just as much difficulty reading it.

    Thanks Meg..have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw it! Thank you. They tell us that the characters in the stories we write aren’t real. But they are living, loving things that feel and we are the conduit for their feelings. That one was damn near impossible to write and I have only read it a couple of times since I finally hit the publish button.

        Thanks for reading and understanding. And as I said above, I’m honored it touched you so deeply.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am beyond honest; I am raw in much of my writing, even if it’s expressed in humor or as a work of fiction. I like how you put it — “empties my veins.” That. Yes. Until it hurts a little, then I back off. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hemingway first spoke about bleeding onto the page. I believe every writer has to do this to some extent to become successful. Beyond the therapy aspect of this, letting out our inner soul can be helpful to others. I try to not hold back. Great post Meg. Always happy when you post these writing articles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Drew. It’s certainly authentic to exorcise your personal demons this way. It gives weight to your writing for sure. I am trying to refocus on my novel writing. My blog has meandered a bit. You know how that goes!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good stuff, Mel…I mean, Meg.

    I do bleed into my writing in two ways. First, in my non-fiction posts about my ongoing love affair with Waco, I only hold back personally identifiable details. Love is beautiful and fulfilling and painful and crushing. Writing it is catharsis.

    On my fiction I might reveal even more of myself, though hyperbole. “David” is an extreme version of myself – what I could have been or might have been had I lacked compassion or self-control. The killer I am going to introduce in “Worship” will be the same. I get those characters because they are a part of myself, my psyche, that I have never and would never act upon. But I get it. I get the insecurity and shame that drive their actions. I get the fear and desire to place everything under control. I get the need for attention.

    So I guess, even in WP comments, I reveal a bit too much about myself. But that’s OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Styles and techniques are as varied as the individuals doing the writing. As you mention, some of our works are deep and full of emotions. Some of us like to mix up the author apple cart with a potpourri of humor, real life events, happy occurrences, memories, nostalgia, and brief photo posts. The world is indeed the oyster for those with a creative mind and the willingness to reveal ourselves to strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

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