Editorial: Passion in your prose
When I was younger, I was always embarrassed about writing. I never told people that I wrote, and God forbid if they did found out they and they asked to see it. Even now I get nervous over the idea of someone reading what I write. Which seems stupid, given the things I’ve had published.
Even now, there’s only one person who gets to see my writing in its first draft, and that’s my sister. But we’re so close I hardly count her as a person different from me.
Because of this, my conditions required for writing are short. I need to be alone. Alone, with no one to read over my shoulder. A blanket, in case I need to cocoon myself if things get too emotional, and absolute silence. The slightest thing can distract me and then I’m in a million other places other than my writing.
But I’m not this high-maintenance because I’m a bad writer, without a care of how conceited I sound, I’m actually fairly good at what I do.
A lot of this has to do with how much of myself I put into my writing. I treat a lot of my editorials like a diary page, where I can lay out all my concerns in a neat and concise manner.
There’s something extremely cathartic about perfecting your emotions.
Take in to account some of my personal stories. I’ve publicly discussed my struggles with having an eating disorder, I’ve talked about how much I loathe wearing bras. I’ll even have a poem in Blueprint that explores a personal subject.
Last year, when I was a News Editor, I found myself struggling at times with my stories. Not because they were cumbersome, but because I lacked an emotional attachment to some of the content. For me, writing is all about emotion. There isn’t a mountain in life I haven’t climbed without writing about it. Because most of my work is seated in deep emotions, I have a tendency to come off as an extremely sentimental person.
There’s a rule I follow for all of my writing, whether it’s thank-you cards or editorials:
“Don’t say in a letter what you can in an ear.”
I find the best writing comes from the feelings you can’t articulate, or don’t feel comfortable saying out loud.
Even now, I have trouble talking about my eating disorder, but writing about it is actually the only easy aspect of it. This isn’t news. Putting difficult emotions into any form of artwork is a tried and true form of therapy.
Sentimentality in writing isn’t for everyone. But I’ve found my style and it’s extremely sappy. Which is great, because once you’ve met me you’ll realize that this isn’t who I am in conversation.
If you find yourself unable to articulate what you’ve been bottling up inside, that’s fine. An easy fix may be to pick up a pen and help yourself sort through the mess.