Thursday, May 22, 2014

Writing 101: Do You Have Trouble Opening Up, Too?

Ever wondered what's going on behind the scenes of my blog? Well, I'll tell you: it's a damn mess. I have like 40 half-written blog posts, and at least 6 of them are all about how I have trouble writing blog posts. Sort of like this one. It's another one of my attempts to explain this problem I have: when I write, it's difficult for me to open up. And since I am a writer, this is a fatal flaw. Have you got it, too? 


It Ain't Easy Being Green

Some time ago, I made a big deal about my New Year's resolution. The resolution was that I was going to get more personal with my blog posts, in the style of another blogger that I admire. This goal quickly deteriorated into several rambling blog posts, each worse than the next, which have never been published. You see, I have difficulty opening up about things -- particularly with anonymous strangers I don't actually know. And since I'm a writer, that's a really big problem. Writers have to open up and tap into their own feelings. Otherwise, the writing isn't going to be as good as it can be. 

So, what can we do about it? 


...It's at this point that I generally stop the blog post and try to figure out something to write about punctuation instead. I'm still not happy with the heavy-handed use of the comma, but this time I'm trying to stay on topic. And here it is: every writer has to find their own way to open up and release the stuff that's inside. That's how you get to the really good writing you have inside you. 

I Got the Books in Me 

When I'm writing my blog, I'm being me. And like most people, I'm not always comfortable with that. Sometimes it's terrible to be me. I sometimes become a ravenous monster who can only be calmed with copious amounts of coffee and anything containing some amount of chocolate. I sit in one spot for hours and hours typing on a keyboard. What reason have I got to open up and share all of that? 

But. When I'm writing books, I'm not me. I'm all the characters in the books. Not just the main one, but all of them. Well, most of them. Some characters are other people that I know or have known, but much of the time they're all me. And they allow me to open up and share memories or experiences. They let me talk at length about foods I've eaten or movies I've watched, or whatever. And they allow me to find an interesting way of doing that, because trust me if I'm blogging about my day-to-day life people will cry actual tears of boredom. But in my books I can edit all that stuff down and leave only the entertaining parts, and it's easier to open up because I don't have to do it as myself. 

Even if you're a shy person or a quiet person or a very private person, you can still be a writing person. You may still have what it takes to be an author. Access all the stuff that's inside of you, and find a safe way to share it with the world. I do it through fiction. Maybe you'll do it in a similar way, or find something totally different. Lots of people, even writers, have trouble opening up. So find the method that works best for you, and don't worry about the rest. Personally, I fixed my problem. I'm not making New Year's resolutions anymore! And now, back to my newest manuscript. It's about a shy girl who must become brave. Sound familiar?

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