On Being a “Writer” (part 4: Working With Emotion)

Today I am angry. It’s one of those bitter angers that clouds the judgement and can color words with sensationalism and strife. I thought to myself, “it’s probably not a good idea to write anything down today.” But that’s an excuse. Actually, it’s a great day to write (every day is a great day to write).

The key to this is writing with emotion instead of writing out of emotion. Accept and surrender to your feelings. These are true and there is a purity to it. Don’t be afraid of yourself. The most terrifying part of it all is when you don’t look deeper to understand, thereby letting it wash out of your control.

My philosophy on this is my rule of the “crude ball of clay.” The secret is this: you can choose how you want to feel about something, anything. The raw emotion and instinct, this is your crude ball of clay. You can choose to fire it, right then and there; or, you can decide to mold it. You can do this over and over.

But beware. There is a devil in this duality. You have to find those strokes, those stylistic elements that are distinctly your own. Try, fail, remold. You will find your molding mental-muscle-memory.

It’s not an easy battle to be won, but it is one of the most rewarding lessons I’ve learned in my life. Learn to trust yourself. That’s not to say that you will always have the right answers, or even any. In the event that you come up empty, find those you can trust around you. I’ve got a righteous trust team, and I am not too proud to ask for advice.

Beyond that, remember to say what you mean and mean what you say.

 


Cover art credit: Jelizaveta | deviantart

 

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