Tuesday’s Tunes And Advice From A Writing Mentor

27 Mar

I keep up with one of my writing mentors, Mike, pretty regularly. Recently, I’ve told him how the progress on my book is going and the different feelings I’ve been having. I thought I’d share what I sent to him and what he replied:

From Me to Mike: Though writing this book has been incredibly therapeutic, I’ve found that it has also caused me to bury deeper into myself. Though that is good in terms of growing individually and learning more about myself, it also creates a sense of loneliness that I know many writers struggle with. Though I have support from friends and family, they don’t quite understand the ability to get so lost in words that reality seems far away. Though many years ago I used to welcome the escape from reality that writing provided for me, now it seems to be more detrimental than beneficial.
There are days when I’m just lost in the words, in the memories, and climbing out takes more strength than simply sitting among the memories. It’s hard to plunge into shades of grey to write out my feelings. Then again, the only way to do this sort of thing is to just write. Write to breathe, to communicate, to connect, to truly live. The urge that I have to write in order to survive is strong, though sometimes being “in the dark place” for too long can be frightening. However, I’ve come to realize that in those places….the places of total fear and memories…are the places that I’ll be able to come face to face with who I truly am.
Through my writing, I’ve finally found my voice, which is something I remember you telling me the importance of a few years ago. Often times, people are surprised when they read some of my work only to find out that I’m as young as I am. However, though I am told how mature I am at my age, I remember that I came face to face with the reality of life at a very young age: the reality that life is hard and that the most important things one can achieve in life are never easy. Can you relate to any of this? The dark places…the shades of grey…the loneliness? How have you handled it?

From Mike To Me: My friend Tom Poland, who has made his living as a writer, thinks all good writers are flawed individuals; whether from an internal defect or something traumatic that happened in their life. I don’t necessarily agree, but a lot of us are. No one else quite understands how the process affects us. Other writers all understand the loneliness.
I am by nature a positive person and see the humor even in the darkest of times. I also find that writing about those dark days, times, and feelings is therapeutic for me. We all have dark days, periods of nothingness, and insecurity.
People who want to write, to open up their heart, put it on display and allow others to pass judgment on what is written, are different from the rest. If you want to write, whether you eventually become recognized or paid for the effort, you must have some of those feelings. Writers are more introspective, see things differently, and analyze events and feelings different from other people.
I have had a relatively simple and ordinary life. You have suffered and endured more already than I have in my whole life so far. I can’t begin to relate to what it must be to try and dig up some of the things you find deep inside. I do think it is important to do it, even if no one ever reads it but you (and hopefully me). The writing is the important part. It begins to take shape as you sweat over every word and you become stronger with each deeply hidden scrap you uncover.
Guy Clark wrote a song recently called Hemingway’s Whiskey, about the art of writing. It is simple as are most of his songs. Kenny Chesney recorded a version on the Lucky Old Sun album. Listen to an old man’s version of what you are feeling and stay in touch with me.
I am with you all the way and know what you are feeling. I am also extremely proud of you, as if you were one of my own. Keep digging and keep me informed.

Words cannot express the gratefulness I have towards Mike for always being truthful when it comes to the art of writing, while also being supportive and giving me the push I need to believe in myself. I’ve struggled with believing in myself for quite some time, and when I can see how much others believe in me, it gives me a spark of hope….a small glimpse that maybe the dream of sharing my story with the world could one day become a reality. However, like Mike said, writing is the important part (no matter if it’s published or not). I understand what he means by that, especially since so many times he’s reminded me how therapeutic the simple act of writing is. The knowledge that I’ll be a stronger person after I’ve uncovered all that has been hidden is another motivator, another push to keep on writing until all I feel is relief and joy.

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22 Responses to “Tuesday’s Tunes And Advice From A Writing Mentor”

  1. Bountiful Giving March 27, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Thanks for keeping the writing going. We need your voice. This was a good reminder for all writers (and tunesmiths) that others struggle with loneliness and doubt. We’re all better for the introspection. Sometimes it helps to just say it aloud and move out from there. A great post. Keep on keepin’ on.

    • ameliaclaire92 March 27, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      Thanks so much for the support and encouragement. It’s because of all of you (and my writing mentors) that I find the strength to keep on writing my story.

  2. Mind Margins March 27, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    “Write to breathe, to communicate, to connect, to truly live.”

    I truly believe that’s what it’s all about. Those of us who love to write can’t NOT write. It is scary to put yourself out there so openly, to reveal yourself and all your humanness, and have others judge you for it, but I think it’s worth it. Writing introspectively makes me a more compassionate person, and that’s good for the world.

    • ameliaclaire92 March 27, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      I think it’s worth it too, even though sometimes it’s hard not to be overcome with the loneliness and doubt.

  3. sherrylcook March 27, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Wonderful post! I share in your insight about having to deal with life’s reality so early, I too had stuggles balancing my emotional well being. dealing with life’s hard trials during childhood and creating your own personal well being. You are doing wonderful work…..continue on!

    • ameliaclaire92 March 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      It’s always nice to know that we are not alone in our struggles, even if it may seem so at the time. Thanks for your support.

  4. Nicola March 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Lovely post !

  5. belasbrightideas March 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    “However, I’ve come to realize that in those places….the places of total fear and memories…are the places that I’ll be able to come face to face with who I truly am.”
    Yes
    Yes, and
    Yes.
    I love what Mike said as well, that all writers experience loneliness. For how else can we become introspective enough to churn our thoughts out and onto the page?
    Wonderful post, Amelia – keep it up!

  6. Laura March 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    This reminds me of Stephen King’s On Writing, where he delves pretty much into why he is the way he is – which influenced his writing a lot. I think a lot of writers are probably like that, had a bit of harsh reality with life a bit too young. Good luck continuing your book!

  7. jsirrah March 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I find myself with shovel in hand,digging deeper into me.Sometimes I find a gold nugget or a rusty bolt.:)

  8. desiryan March 28, 2012 at 3:43 am #

    its true writers are different then others. I like what Mike says truly. You are gifted with explaining what other people might not just be able to. They just can’t see through the normal things in life. You will do good at writing.

  9. Amy Miles March 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    I read your post while stuck in the hospital and have only begun to feel well enough to respond, although I did think about this quite a bit.
    As an author, I agree with much of what was said. Like all artistic people, we view the world through different eyes. We learn to express our pain, no matter the source, through the written word.
    When our writing is judged, which it will be time and time again, we can often take it personally because of how much of our heart and soul we have poured into our words. This the part where “tough skin” is learned. It’s a hard process but it fuels future stories 🙂
    Everyone has been hurt at some point in their lives. Some turn to alcohol, drugs or worse…I turn to my novels. It is through them that I live, love and laugh. Does that mean I tune out from the real world? Perhaps briefly once in a while, at times when I need it the most, but that is not real life.
    Real life is living through the pain and overcoming. You are a brilliant example of this. My advice…always write from the heart. Don’t write what people tell you to write, or allow other’s opinions to stand in the way of your dreams.
    There’s a reason we have dreams…it gives us a reason to get out of bed each morning.
    Keep writing and the world (no matter how small that bit might be) will be reading.

    • ameliaclaire92 March 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

      Thank you so much Amy. That really means a lot to me. 🙂

      • Amy Miles March 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

        We writers have to stick together 🙂

      • ameliaclaire92 March 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

        Definitely. 🙂

  10. Nicola April 1, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Reblogged this on Love's Camel and commented:
    Wonderful thoughts about writing

  11. literateworm April 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this song! It’s become one of my favourites, I listen to it a lot, it just makes me want to write.

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