By Nikhil Mahadea at Intelligentcitizen.ca
Write with Unbridled Abandon
Readers enjoy the firm, declarative, loud and passionate voice, those loudly for or loudly against something. It’s the personal observation, the odd fancy, the strange pride, that creates good writing. Capture this oddity. Explore the rugged edges of your mind. Make work that’s provocative and edgy. Audacity, not talent, is what moves an artist to center stage. Controversy is what sells. So, don’t think. Don’t get logical. Lose control. Go for the neck. Your motto must be: be bold, be free and be truthful. Truthfulness will save your writing from flamboyance and pretentiousness.
As Ray Bradbury said, “I write all of my novels and stories…in a great surge of delightful passion.” It’s passion that makes work not feel like work. Let the bolt of pain strike us. Bradbury continues, “When honest love speaks, when true admiration begins, when excitement rises, when hate curls like smoke, you need never doubt that creativity will stay with you for a lifetime…The most important items for a writer are his zest and gusto. If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer.
A writer must be excited, filled with enthusiasm. You must write stories where your real love or your real hatred gets transferred onto paper. Write things so passionate that the paper feels like it’s holding on to a lighting bolt…To work creatively, a writer must put flesh into it and enjoy it as a fascinating adventure…What are the best things and the worst things in your life, and when are you going to get around to whispering or shouting them? Where’s your indignation?”
Write about your obsessions.
For example, if you love X, then read, care, talk and write on X. Obsess over it. Obsessions have power. Harness it. Let it come out however it does. Put your imagination and love in your writing. Work freely and joyously as though imagination and love were talking to a friend. Carl Jung said, “The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”
When a passionate person talks, “the words become poetry that no one minds, because no one has thought to call it that…Love is there. Story is there. A passionate man calmly gives forth his infinitesimal portion of eternity,” said Ray Bradbury. The person’s passion, right cadence or right words won’t come out in the first minutes. But after a few minutes, the old and familiar passion shows itself. At any given moment, when people are touched and moved, inspiration flares, and the fireworks begin. “It’s limping crude hard work for many…But I have heard farmers tell about their very first wheat crop on their first farm after moving from another state and if it wasn’t Robert Frost talking, it was his cousin. I have heard locomotive engineers talk about America in the tones of Thomas Wolfe. And they were all, when their souls grew warm, poets.” says Bradbury.
By the time many are 18, they have been divested of their loves, their ancient and intuitive tastes. One by one, as they reach maturity, no fun, zest, gusto or flavor is left. Some have been criticized, others have criticized themselves.
One can tell when one is writing out of passion: the heart is pounding hard or aching, breaths are deep, handwriting is more generous, the body is relaxed. We move graciously in and out of ideas. It feels like we can write through hundreds of pages.
And remember, a quiet story doesn’t mean it’s not passionate. A quiet story can be as exciting and passionate as any.
2 Steps To Writing With Passion
First thoughts have tremendous energy but they are restricted by the ego. Instead of writing: “I cut the daisy from my throat,” we write, “My throat was a little sore so I didn’t say anything. ” We end up living in the realm of second and third thoughts, the proper and boring.
To write with passion we must burn through to the first thoughts, to the place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness or the internal censor to the place where we are writing what our mind actually sees and feels, not what it thinks or wants to see and feel.
To do this, first, write any old word that wants to jump out onto the page. Sit through an ardent thought or emotion. If something comes up that’s scary or naked, dive right into it. It most likely has lots of energy. If it’s frustration, then you’re actually creating something wonderful. Stay present with whatever comes up. Let the expression be born in you and onto the paper. Keep your hand moving. You must be a great warrior. Continue writing through the tears and the pain. Don’t hold too tightly. Allow the passion to come out how it needs to rather than trying to control it. As Oscar Wilde said, “Art will die if held too tightly.”
Second, don’t brainstorm. You should be so in love with a subject that you cannot help but write about it. Your subjects should be shouting to you. They should bite you and you respond by writing.
Note: Nikhil’s post was printed here with his permission.
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