Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Writer's Emotional Connection

Writers offer their talents because they feel a passion to connect on matters of the heart. This is the spiritual side of writing, the side that has little to do with marketing and self-promotion.

A writer may have a wonderful gift of stringing together lovely sentences and thoughts, but if the writer is not in the piece, it is hardly worth the paper it is printed on.  Rather, it becomes a cerebral exercise, a study in one person viewing life from a distance, like a doctor who doesn't see that the patient is really himself.

For the writer, exploring the emotional landscape is the greatest joy of writing.  Writers are people too and they want and need to express their feelings, their own woundedness.  As a friend said to me, all writers are wounded.  It is true. Otherwise, why write?  Why examine our human condition, reflect . . . try and make sense of it all, and, hopefully, heal?

Believe this if you believe nothing else. Connecting with our own emotions inevitably leads to connecting with our readers'. As the year draws to a close, I think about ways to do that which I have shared in my writing workshops.

  • What is the universal emotion you wish to convey? 
  • Engage the reader through colorful details, lively and true dialogue, characters who are not all black and white, but shades of blue and gray.
  • Reflect through a character in your story.  All writers want to be known.  Here is your chance.
  • Take the risk to be vulnerable.  (Only when you are ready and feel strong enough.)
  • Consider how you feel when you are writing.
  • Write with your whole heart.
PROMPT:  Loneliness is a powerful emotion.  What do you do when you are alone?  Describe the setting.  What are your thoughts? Ways to start:  This is how I feel when I am alone.

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