Monday, January 14, 2013

The V Word

This weekend I tweeted/FBed this: "I'm learning that the best fiction is born when your passion and your vulnerabilities meet on the page." That's what I feel like I'm learning with my own writing right now-- to not be afraid to be vulnerable. And to delve into my passions. If I'm going to write, it needs to matter-- to me and to readers.

With this in mind, I saw this in a blog post and wanted to share it with you:

That’s what readers need to feel you’ve done on the page: responded to their needs. But how do you know their needs? Because you know your own.

Are you in despair over a failed marriage? Are you physically hurting because you have fibromyalgia (as I have), so every day tasks are full of pain? Are you rejoicing in the birth of a new grandson, but also grieving because the grandson has Down’s Syndrome and you know that he will be much loved, but your daughter’s family will be very different from what you had expected and hoped? Are you raging at the stupidity of a teacher who has only managed to teach your son that he’s stupid and can never learn math?

Where are you hurting? What are you passions? Where do you CARE ENOUGH to put yourself into a story? THAT is the story you should be telling.

(Quoted from this post.)

If you are a writer, then maybe this will give you something to think about-- how are you tapping into your passions and exposing your vulnerabilities through character, theme, plot, etc.? If you aren't, how could you start? I'm convinced that the books that truly move us-- that stick with us long after that last page is turned-- are the ones where the author has combined those two elements: passion and vulnerability. It feels risky, but it's necessary.

If you're not a writer, then how could you use this same concept in whatever it is you do? Mothering? Marriage? Your job? Your hobbies? I think that the same is true in all areas of life.
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1 comment:

Carol Baldwin said...

You have no idea how true this post is for me right now. Dealing with my mother's illness--trying to feed that into my WIP. Tears as I write. Thanks.