Friday, December 18, 2009

Boundaries and Writers

Good morning, internet world! :) Today, I want to discuss a rather unusual topic: writers and boundaries. Since I discussed emotional writing yesterday, I think it's important to remember that there need to be boundaries when it comes to that emotional writing.

Why do I want to talk about that? Well, writers are basically geysers of words. Like "Old Faithful," we regularly errupt with words and emotions.

I don't know if the same can be said for other art forms or not. But we as writers absorb so much. We are trapped in our minds which are endless stories and words. It's great because that gives us the creative juices we need to create wonderful stories. It can be bad, though, because sometimes we just errupt without thinking of the consequences on those around us. We REALLY need to be mindful not to hurt the people closest to us. I have seen it happen SO many times. So I decided to take a stand against it today!

I know you're looking at your monitor with your head cocked to the side thinking, "Say what?!" Yeah, I've got x-ray vision! ;) LOL.

I've seen so many writers just vomit out words endlessly.
(I'm sorry, but this picture randomly came up in an unrelated search, and I thought it was just too funny NOT to post! LOL)

Sometimes it's vague, but sometimes they just go right for the jugular forgetting that the world can read it, and that the pen is in fact mightier than the sword. It may not even be intentional, but it's a common problem in the scribe community.

We express ourselves through words. That's what we do. So of course we'd clear our minds and our souls with words. But sometimes we forget that those words may have people attached to them. I've seen so many writers just blurt stuff out, then look back & say, "oops!"

Oops is not a good thing for us. Nor is it a good thing for the people who are being affected by the oops.

Countless writers love to do what's called free-writing. With that, you just spew and spew whatever thoughts, feelings, emotions, and images come to mind. It is such a great release! I'm a big fan of free writing. BUT, free-writing has its consequences if you're having an arguement with your spouse and you write things like "she is so stupid" or "he is so inconsiderate" and then publish it for all the world to see. Oops? Oh yeah! MAJOR oops!

So, what is a writer to do when you're flooded with emotions and you need to write to keep your sanity, but you dare not risk making a bad situation worse? It's called...drum roll...EDITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right folks. Editing. We writers have a love-hate relationship with editing. Sometimes editing is the polish that gives our words that extra shine. Sometimes, it seems more like censorship.

Editing is in fact your friend, fellow bibliophiles! Editing is the fine tuning that every work needs. Just as an artist draws out the main sketch first and then puts in the details later, so must we write and then edit. It really helps to hone our skills, but also to be sure that we are truly saying what we need to say. Plus, it gives us the opportunity to kill the oops before it's out for all the world to see. Editing is a phenomenal tool for us! USE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For myself, I also love using what ever is close by. I frequently use my phone for writing. Whether it's one thought or a story idea, by using my phone I can just say what is in my heart or on my mind, but it's just for me. It's GREAT! Oh, I LOVE the release it gives me, but I don't need to worry that I may offend my readers. Come on, I'm a loud mouthed, bisexual Puerto Rican from Queens. My EXISTANCE offends people! LOL.
(Yep, that's me! Are ya scared yet? LOL)

So, this gives me the opportunity to quietly scream. I love it. I'll also use paper and a pen/pencil if that's more readily available. Whatever is around. I HIGHLY recommend it for you as well. You're still doing what a writer does, but you're also writing for yourself. Let me tell you something. Writing for yourself is FAR more rewarding than writing for an audience.

Again, I see tilted heads and I'm hearing, "Say what?!" Ok, let me explain. My publisher told me I should try to write a suspense novel earlier this year. I was thinking, "oh hell no!" I'm not good at twists and turns and intrigue. Again, Puerto Rican chick from Queens. We're direct. We speak directly and we write directly. How was I going to write a full length novel that was the antithesis of my normal voice? It took a lot of work and digging, but I did it. Now, I am EXTREMELY proud of the fact that I did actually write a full length suspense novel. It's a great feeling to actually accomplish something outside your norm. But, I was doing it for some one else - my readers. So, what did I do? I created the epilogue just for myself. I don't care if people like it or don't. It's there - think of it what you will. But it's MY epilogue. That is the one thing I feel I truly own because I wrote that epilogue just for myself. Selfish? Maybe. But I sure as hell enjoy it and revel in Unbreakable Hostage that much more!

Ok, I got a bit side-tracked there. So, what I'm saying is this, folks: write, write, write. It's what we do. It's how we express ourselves. It's how we allow ourselves to heal. It's how we allow ourselves to grow as people. But, just like your first draft of your novel is not ready for the public, the same goes for most of your writings. It's true for all of us. Read, re-read, edit and write for yourself. Yes, you need to express whatever it is you're feeling or experiencing. You just don't have to let everybody and their mother know exactly what is going on in your personal life. Whatever and whenever you write, make sure you're doing it for yourself & not for any other reasons, ok? You will end up SO much happier with your final product if you do! That is a promise! :)

1 comment:

ChainsawChick said...

I think your thoughts are very wise. There is a balance between being completely real and emotional and being careful about what you put out there.