“There is nothi…

July 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

I think Hemingway was a little right here, and a little wrong, which makes sense with Hemingway, given that the man was a genius and an alcoholic all at the same time. Because writing well does not mean you have thousands of imaginative plot lines and an extensive vocabulary up your sleeve. It doesn’t mean you’re somehow wiser than the rest, that something sets you apart. If anything, you’re the most human of anybody, because you’re so damn aware of that humanity. To write, you communicate the truth of that human experience. You speak what is, and nothing more.

But while you do sit down and bleed, it’s not like the blood just pours out and makes a nice little pool. The body doesn’t allow that. It fights back, tries to repair, stop the flow, clot and prevent the bleeding, not totally, but the best it can. Every time when I write I try to bleed, try to open myself up, and my body flies into preparations to save me, close me right back up again, make me whole, and I end up with a fuzzy head staring at words that slash.

There is certainly something to writing. As writers, our biggest challenge is to let the words out, let out wounds breathe. One does not simply cut and sit back and watch. We have to push the walls down, let the soul out, let ourselves bleed out, and fight the temptation to reach for the band-aid.

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