You hear it a lot: “Writing is a solitary experience.” And it is, unless maybe you’re working in collaboration with someone else or are one of those people who like to write amid the hubbub of a nearby Starbuck’s. Most often, however, the words that drop from our fingertips are created within our minds, and are ejected into the quietness of a private writing space.
When I’m asked what it’s like to write a novel I’m hard-pressed to find the words that adequately describe the experience. So when I came across Kristen Torres-Toro’s blog about watching last month’s television documentary on J. K. Rowling I was impressed by how she expressed her reaction.
Famous authors have a celebrity aura and we seldom see beyond their public image.
“J.K. Rowling let us see her, not only as a multi-published author,” Kristen says, “but as a writer. As a dreamer. As someone that shares my creative heart.”
I’m not sure why people are so curious about the writing life. There is a mystique surrounding it, as if writers are granted divine revelations and magical abilities not available to non-writers. Maybe that’s true. Or maybe it’s just that writers are more willing to let the world inside their minds, to toss intimate thoughts onto a public plate for consumption. It’s more than writing; it’s willingly splaying the soul regardless of the consequences. Sometimes the effort is invigorating, sometimes it’s painful, but always it’s personal.
“For a writer,” Kristin continues, “you can’t get any more personal than the act of writing itself, nor the emotions, thoughts, and desires that swirl through us as we fully engage in the craft. It’s us at our most powerful–and sometimes at our weakest…. It’s euphoria and grief and everything in between. It’s intoxicating. And for the most part, it’s completely private.”
So, how do you feel about giving the world personal glimpses… putting your innermost feelings on a page for all to see?