Programming Note: Starting this week kristin nador writes anywhere will post on Mondays and Fridays to give me more margin to focus on health issues and my WIP that I’ve been neglecting. Monday posts will focus on writing, creativity and blogging, while Fridays will continue to feature Write Anywhere venues where we check out places to help us step out of the creativity box. Hope you’ll join us. Now back to regular programming.
My apologies for being out of pocket for the last week. Professional bloggers say you should never point out your absence, but…
#1 I’m a writer who blogs, not a professional blogger and #2 I would apologize to my in-person friends so why wouldn’t I apologize to my blog reader friends?
Health and personal issues decided to butt ahead in the line that is my life. It was rather rude of them but there is nothing I can do about it. We all have problems: emotional, physical, financial, relational, creative. The only people without problems are those with a gravestone on top of them, so having problems is good. It means you are alive.
The real issue is how you deal with problems. Juggling, balancing, prioritizing, whichever term you like to use to describe how you make it through a day. If you’re a writer, include balancing your writing in that juggling act of life. I could share the details of my problems, but then does my blog morph into personal therapy? That might be good for me, but what about a writer’s online brand? Once a post is out there in cyberland, it’s there in perpetuity. Will confessional or revelatory blog posts affect how writers are perceived by readers, agents and publishers?
On the other hand, will giving a true portrayal of what happens in a writer’s life help other writers struggling with similar circumstances? I think most of us are more alike than we are different, but we’re afraid to talk about it. We’re afraid to write naked.
Not as in Victor Hugo, who literally wrote without clothes. Writing naked is being open, being real, going to those places we don’t like to show even ourselves. Some writers write stark naked. Cutting open a vein and bleeding on the page. Anne Lamott is one of many that come to mind. That’s probably why she is so beloved to many writers. Other writers write just as naked but it’s all poured into a multi-layered character.
Creatives seem to be sensitive creatures for whom every event is just that: an event. So the events that make up our lives affect how we come to the page. I think it’s important to be positive. But some days are not positive days. It’s okay to be sad, mad or even self-indulgent. Sometimes reality descends. So is it okay to admit that in print?
Even while we cheer on super-achiever creatives who manage to keep all the plates spinning with a smile and a tweet, we secretly hang our heads in shame because we aren’t really part of that perceived club. We fall into depressive funks. We can’t manage to get the laundry folded for three days. We can’t figure out where we went wrong in that character arc yet. We can’t manage to stick to our blog post schedule. We don’t write 4000 words on our WIP every day. We forget to thaw the chicken for dinner. We sit too long trying to make the words flow and our butts get bigger than our egos. We can’t whip up gourmet dinners after coming home from our very necessary day jobs. We stare at the computer screen and obsess that we write crap.
Will talking about these things rather than all the shiny goals we meet dull the bright carrots of blog statistics, Twitter followers and networking dangling before our social media platforms? I’ve stirred up more questions than answers in this post.
I don’t think I’m very good at writing ‘naked’ but I’m going to keep working on it. This writing naked takes trust, and that’s not always something I offer easily. The best choice is not always the safest choice. Choose to do it afraid.
Check out these thought- provoking posts by ‘naked’ writers:
Question: Do you think it helps or hurts your author brand by revealing personal issues and struggles? Is writing ‘naked’ art or cheap therapy?