Last month I participated in National Novel Writing Month. My reasons for participating have nothing to do with completing a novel-length manuscript--I have done that several times already. My main reason for tackling the challenge centered around forcing myself to write a story that paralleled my life more closely than anything previous.
It is a freeing thing to write from the center of your soul without regard to the rejection or criticism that might follow. Transparency is the catch-phrase circulating the writing world today. Be transparent. Bare your soul.
While writing my latest manuscript during National Novel Writing Month entitled "Little Earthquakes", I needed to be more emotionally transparent than ever before because of the personal subject matter and demanding writing schedule. I didn't have time to second-guess my words or plot line. This pressure cracked open a channel inside myself I had been afraid to acknowledge. I thought if I tapped into it, I would be washed away in a wave of darkness and never return to the light.
The opposite happened. Not only did the story flow from me as if the words had been dying to be free, light infused my every waking moment. Creative energy pumped through me in every task I tackled. I remodeled the kitchen and bathroom. I completed revisions, finished the final chapters of a lingering story I hadn't wanted to end, and finished "Little Earthquakes" from beginning to end in only 30 days. By opening that dark place---or the place I had labeled dark---I freed myself.
Writing has always been my saving grace. Ever since I was a child, I turned to writing as a way of understanding the world around me. Journals are a haven for my darkest thoughts. Fiction connects me with a plane of energy that simply makes me happy. Writing that exposes my true nature is a rush greater than anything I have ever known. Yes, it's even better than sex....I would compare it to an orgasm that lasts for hours at a time, an extended period of heightened sensation and euphoria. (and people wonder why I never label writing as work.)
Carrying the idea of being transparent into the "real" world is more challenging than keeping it here in the world of writing where I feel safe. There are people who have known me for years and have an idea of how I should be and don't want that to change. Seeing me raw and uncensored is as disturbing for them as it is freeing for me. But transparency is now more than a catch-phrase in the writing world; it has become my way of being. I enjoy seeing through myself, seeing through the layers of bullshit, seeing through the walls I have built and connecting with that inner spirit that runs wild and hot at my center.
Theodor Geisel said, "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Our true self matters most. We must be authentic by expressing our true natures, even if that means tapping into the place we are most afraid to go and seeing the truth of who we are.
About Moxie Girl Musings
Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com