How much do you know about what you write? When I first started writing, I heard a lot about niches, the prerequisite of specialization, and that every talented writer “must” figure out which niche suits them best.
I remember thinking that I have to decide what I’m going to specialize in and if I’m not good at it then, I must be comfortable to grow myself to become a subject expert and to hone my skills in a particular arena.
After writing for a while, I realized not everyone who writes is an expert writer because many of us acquire knowledge as we go along. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not debunking “experts” who espouse their greatness and write listicles as I truly believe there are many experts in many fields of studies and it’s only right for us to give credit to whom credit is due. (Marcus —and he hates listicles).
And then there are the rest of us.
Us — who write to get through our day, to get something off our chest, for cathartic release or just to make sense of our crazy world. We write what we love, to stretch our creative capacity, to craft an imaginary world with the words that flow from our hearts, and to express our feelings on paper. In reality, all of us are experts in our own rights.
One of the obvious reasons I write is catharsis. It’s in this process that I get to experience repressed emotions hidden within.
Of course, you don’t have to listen to me because, hey what do I know? All I know are my own experiences through traversing life’s journey, the lessons I learned through hard knocks, pain, and loss. As I reflect on my brief writing journey, I realize my trials and failures are almost always the best stories that others can relate to because as humans, we’re for real. Depending on where you are in life, some things will work for you and some won’t. When I read someone else’s experience that I can relate to, especially when written from the I share with the reader's voice, I feel there’s hope for me.
To be honest, I don’t always know what to write. Even when I do, I have to deal with heaps of garbage, challenging negative self-talk, and exaggerated or irrational thought patterns. Who is going to read my ramblings? Perhaps worse, who in their right mind would keep coming back for more?
Let the pen bleed while my heart speaks
One of the obvious reasons I write is catharsis. It’s in this process that I get to experience repressed emotions hidden within. I remember writing a piece recently that took me 6 hours to conclude, including many rounds of editing. Each time I went through the piece, I cried. Reading and re-reading the piece stirred up so many emotions. By the time I finished, I was a wreck. How can someone read the same sentences dozens of times and still cry over them? Yes, I did. I call that emotional cleansing.
If for nothing else, I need to write for myself, allowing me to air my feelings and to honor who I am. I’m a deep feeler, so you can guess I often get caught in a whirlwind of emotions. Rather than clogging my emotional pipeline, writing allows me to acknowledge how I feel — it is therapeutic.
I’ve concluded that I don’t have to be the best writer, I only need to be myself and writing provides me that outlet rather than making a fool of myself, exposing my dark secrets by confiding in someone. But I’m sure this is only me. It may be different for you, if so, be the brightest, happiest, badass-iest version of yourself.
We channel our emotions as energy into our writing that finds its way to the readers. Never underestimate the power of how we feel.
I know what it feels like strangled in the grip of fear. There are times I found myself trapped in self-pity because tunnel vision set me up for failure. Not to mention the numerous occasions when I felt disappointed, ashamed, and overwhelmed with life’s challenges. I needed an outlet. That’s when I learned to express myself through words. I psych myself into writing.
I talk about overcoming obstacles, I mean crazy life challenges because I had traveled down those paths and felt the emotions derived from them. That doesn’t make me a personal development coach.
I write about dealing with heartbreak because I have experienced the loss of a loved one, ending a friendship, or getting over a breakup. But that doesn’t qualify me as a relationship expert.
I have something real to talk about, and that’s why I write. I write about what’s on my mind, the emotions I felt at the moment and the lessons I subsequently learn. The real freedom comes when I don’t have to worry about what researchers have to say, what is the percentage of success in a particular area, or wonder who is most likely to experience those same events. The truth is, it works for me and if you can’t relate, there’s a vast ocean of writers on the platform I’m sure you can find someone’s work whom you can relate to.
Now and then, I get caught up in the lie that I have to be a good enough writer to produce a masterpiece. But writing is a sort of love-hate relationship. I love it when I know what to do. Then there are other days when all I can come up with is a shitty draft and I have to force myself to produce. I ended up disconnecting my words from my emotions and produced some first-class gibberish. I’ve learned to be wiser since. Again, this is just me. You just do you.
Often, we have more to write about than just our emotions and experiences. Sometimes, you simply want to write because you have something to say and when you do, put it out there. Don’t go worrying about who’s right and who’s wrong because you’re expressing an opinion and readers have a choice which side they choose to take and that shouldn’t be our concern. Readers have the freedom to choose what they enjoy reading, and writers should approach their writing in that same manner — freedom to write.
We channel our emotions as energy into our writing that finds its way to the readers. Never underestimate the power of how we feel. Without emotional energy, our writing simply falls flat and dull. Emotion creates a connection. When channeled properly, the message you send out will likely stick. Not every reader can relate to a particular story or setting, but we can all relate to emotions.
Today I woke up with a nagging feeling in my heart and I am not exactly sure what it is yet, but it’s begging for release. Like the synchronized choreography in the art of weaving, I’ll allow my fingers to dance on the keyboard as I weave magical narratives with the words that flow freely from my heart.
As the colored expressions evoke an array of emotions within me, let the words travel through time and space to where you are. And as you connect with them, may you find not only escape but hope through the portals of my imagination.