I want to talk about something a little touchy today. It's an issue I come across quite a bit, and an important one to keep in the back of you mind when you sit down to face the page.
I'm talking about writing with passion versus writing with precision.
There is more to writing well than being able to lay down the most perfectly constructed sentence in the world. Of course you must write well. That's not even up for debate. You must know the rules, understand grammar, punctuation, homonyms and possessives. You have to be literate, and glamorous in your prose.
But if you write without passion, without allowing your heart and soul into your words, your work will lay dully on the page. No sparkle. No excitement. And no connection to your reader.
Writing is hard. It's frightening at times, especially when you're doing work that's personal. Even fiction, especially fiction, in which you take a grain of sand from a situation or a memory and blow it up into a story. Fear is the number one reason you aren't writing with passion. Fear of being judged. Fear of someone seeing themselves in your work. Fear of (you fill in the blank.)
Fear. It is what holds us back, and what drives us forward.
Don't be afraid. Let it all hang out. Write with reckless abandon. Give your reader something to think about, something to chew on after they close the covers. Don't worry about offending people - and don't worry about upsetting them, either. And think of this when you put pen to page:
“You own everything that happend to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." - Anne Lamott
This is one of the reasons I encourage writers to try NaNoWriMo. To give yourself permission to write, fast, unedited, uncriticized. To allow yourself to be unstoppable.
I'm still working, at 2200 right now. A good day, in which I've vowed to be fearless. Back to it.