Friday, January 22, 2010

Guts

I found a Sylvia Plath quote on the internet while I was researching ways to break through "writers block" (quick note: nothing great has been said on the subject. I thought I'd save you some time).
She said, "Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it." I immediately copied, pasted, and printed it out. It's hanging on my wall as we speak. I love that she used the word guts.

Putting pen to paper is scary. It takes, well, guts. But there is something even scarier. Giving your fledgling writing to someone to read. As an aspiring author, the only thing that I can compare it to would be to running down the street naked while all your worst enemies from high school hold up signs signifying how much fatter you are now than you were in ninth grade.

Sharing your writing with someone, even someone you trust, can make you feel bare naked. It's uncomfortable because it's the most vulnerable part of you, especially when you are new at it. Heck, for all you know, your work could suck. So you start to sweat and wonder whatever made you start writing in the first place because obviously you can't write! Who do you think you are, huh?

Whoa, I'm getting away from myself.

But getting your writing out there, even if it is terrifying is the price you have to pay to get better. Gut it out. Get the feedback. Get better.

Plath ends by saying, "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." Well, that and all your high school enemies commenting on your fat butt.

3 comments:

  1. I read a blog called fivecrows on blogspot. It's the personal blog of Louise Plummer. She has published some books for young adults and she is so real. She talks about having writers block sometimes and I remember once she said that any fiction writer who says they love to write is lying. She talked about sitting down and writing everyday whether you feel like it or not. I loved that it won't be some easy...flow like water experience every single time we sit down to write. Food for thought.

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  3. Here's a cure for writer's block. Whilst sitting in your chair, staring haplessly at your computer screen for hours on end developing ocular cancer of the puppy, play with a Slinky. Toss it back and forth in your hands a few times, and your troubles will be no more. It's hypnotizing and cathartic.
    Also may I submit a poem by Emily Dickinson that I think best describes the wonderful effects of said block.
    I felt a Funeral, in my Brain
    And Mourners to and fro
    Kept treading-treading-till it seemed
    That sense was breaking through

    And when they all were seated,
    A Service like a Drum
    Kept beating-beating-till I thought
    My mind was going numb

    And then I heard them lift a Box
    And creak across my Soul
    With those same Boots of Lead, again,
    Then Space-began to toll

    As all the Heavens were a Bell
    And Being but an Ear
    And I, and Silence, some strange Race
    Wrecked, Solitary, here-

    And then a Plank in Reason broke,
    And I dropped down and down
    And hit a World, at every plunge
    And Finished knowing- then-

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