“I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Picture Can Be Found Here
So naturally when I took a year off from writing, one would miscue my absence to mean either I wasn’t living fully or I’d given up. Neither would be the case. Writing isn’t always an endless stream of words. For me writing is exploring emotional crevices, watching an endless parade of humanity, and the discovery of new words tattooed beneath the skin of memory like a hidden map. When I write about grief, I want the visceral details of the pain to be visible. I want my readers to experience the raw ache of love lost for those few words, to find themselves slipping beneath my skin and becoming grief embodied.
I use grief as a touchstone here because I’m familiar with that emotional entourage in every which way possible. Every single emotion in existence can be given life. Take pain for example, even there you will find beauty in the details – excavated memories tinged with an unbearable emotional tax, the survival instinct to move beyond, and the hurt which reminds us we still live. I want my readers to not only read my words but to feel as if they were fed a live wire of emotion, a conduit that feeds into their very essence.
Have I stopped writing? No. For a writer not to write, they would have to be emotionally detached from who they are as a person. Our minds are forever calculating, scheming, and creating separate realities, whether it be typed, written, or spoken we can’t remove the storyteller in us. Some writers take years to write a single story, others write like madmen plagued with words. I’ve been on both sides of the fence.
So in this way unexpectedly, I found the emotional baggage needed for a character in my WIP (Work in progress, for those among my readers unfamiliar with the phrase). The answers can always be found in the details if you are willing to carve through flesh beneath skin and bones for the words; if you are willing to scrape open the scabs of memory. For every life, there is a book waiting to be written.
This post is dedicated to Pickles my muse, who died May 31st, 2012 - from an aggressive form of Leukemia. The writer came into existence with her arrival, but it won’t end with her. Her legacy lives on in my words.