“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” –Ernest Hemingway
I love this quote, probably because it relates to my writing style so accurately. I’m not one for planning things out. Sure, I get ideas in my head and try to have some character personalities and relationships planned out ahead of time, but the best part of my writing, the part that is truly a piece of me, is the stuff that bleeds onto the page when I sit at my computer.
The blood is the pure emotion and life that I feel when I give my characters a story to tell and live. It’s the rawest part of me, and I think that’s why I wait so long before showing anyone some of, what I think are, my best pieces. These stories like “Livana,” “The Morning After” and “The Corner between Still Rd. and Park Ave.” are my babies. They were all huge milestones in my writing career- a story about the evil side of power and sex, same-sex friends with benefits, and my first gushy romantic love story with a deaf man. These three stories were my babies. I knew they were there, but it wasn’t until they were born that I knew of what they were truly capable of becoming. And I had to nurse them, help them and fix them until they were ready to be shared with the world.
I don’t write in a systematic way, sometimes I don’t even think I write properly. I bleed. My blood slowly drips onto the page and by the time I write “The End” the pages are soaked through. My breath warms the pages, my tears wash the blood away, but blood stains. And blood can’t go back in once it’s left my body. So these pieces become a part of me. Stained with my blood when I didn’t know I was bleeding.
Writing is as easy as breathing. There’s no thinking, it just happens. It is a skill, a talent, a lifestyle, and one that I am happy to be a part of.
Maybe writing isn’t a part of me, maybe I’m a part of the writing, of the people who define themselves as a writer foremost and finally.
Sometimes when you bleed, you don’t know how to clean it up or wrap up the wound. You become overwhelmed, and don’t know when or how to stop it. But it’s natural and will stop on its own.
I didn’t want to make this a post just about bleeding and blood. In fact I really am not a fan of blood and I’m trying really hard not to think too much into this. I wanted to spend more time talking about my writing process.
Many people experience Writer’s Block- we all do. But no one really talks about Writer’s Urge- the urge to write. That’s what I got today. My heart swelled up and I knew I was ready to pour my emotions out. I didn’t know what I wanted to write, I just knew I had to sit down and let myself bleed onto the page. And I did, and I hope I got my point across. Writing is so much of the person I am; it’s like my blood. I couldn’t live without it and yet I don’t always recognize how important it is to me.
I was going to write another story today, but I only had half an hour between dances (I was also going to write an essay too, but that requires a lot less blood, and more bandages).
I’m at that point where I don’t know how to wrap up so I’ll finish with telling you to put your heart, soul, tears, sweat and blood into whatever you’re passionate about, regardless of how others view it.