Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday's Words for October 14, 2009

Being a writer isn’t easy. Yes, sometimes the writer has considerable talent, and whether or not you have talent really isn’t your call, it’s God’s, which is a gift. But all the rest of it you have to forge, you have to work at yourself. And it can be very hard work.

The best writers write with passion, and I’m not necessarily talking about the kind of passion you’ll find in romance. Although if you do write romance, it had better be pretty darn passionate.

Writing with passion means your emotions are involved in the piece you’re crafting. It may also mean that you passionately believe in what you are writing, and that passion of your own belief gives your work not only the ring of truth, but strength of character.

I’ve read the works of authors who use mainly their intellect to craft a book, as opposed to their emotions. I would have to say, for the most part, it shows.

So my question is, what do you do when your emotions are otherwise occupied – that is, when life does what life always seems to do and throws challenges your way?

It just so happens that I have several friends, writers all, who are going through emotional hell right now. And to a one, they worry about whether or not they will be able to write through this time of turmoil, or even after it.

It happens to all of us from time to time. And maybe, because we are writers – artists, if you will – when our lives go into upheaval or when things take a negative turn, it affects us more than it does other people.

I have an expression I use with regard to my writing. In fact, I used this expression in a book I’ve written that may or may not ever see the light of publication. And that expression is: much of life is metaphorical water for my writing well.

Everything I experience, good and bad, everyone I meet, every place I go, in short all that I live, goes into my well. And it is from this well that I draw in order to write.

I have a unique interpretation of that old saw, “write what you know”. Some people take that to mean, write only what you have experienced, that, for example, if you’ve never been a doctor then you cannot write about being a doctor. If you’ve never been to Northern Nevada, then you cannot write about Northern Nevada. My translation is that what I write isn’t about being a cowboy or a doctor, a King or a thief. It’s not about being in Northern Nevada or Boisdemer. My stories are about the people and their journeys through the emotional minefields of life.

The circumstances of my novels may be fictional, but the emotions, and the mental wrangling of the characters, their challenges and their ordeals are real.

For that reason, the negative things we go through in life are given a positive turn, as they serve to help us, as authors, connect with more of the greater “life experience”. They help us tell stories that because of this emotional connection, touch more readers.

My advice to any writer who is going through emotional hell, is to write about your hell. No, maybe you can’t work on your w.i.p. right at this moment. But you can write, because that is what you do, and for a lot of you, like myself, that is what you are.

The writing will get you through the hard times. And the thoughts and feelings that you pen, even if no one else ever reads them, will serve to help you grow as an author, just as life’s challenges help you grow as a person. Writing it all out will also serve as extremely inexpensive psycho-therapy.

The writing will help you heal.

Prepare to have your cravings satisfied!
Cowboy Cravings – Pre-order now for October 19th release

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