Bleeding out

There’s a famous quote I’m sure you’ve heard: “There’s nothing to writing. You just sit at a typewriter and bleed”.

It’s frustratingly true.

Ok, on the one hand it illustrates how writing just can’t be analysed. There’s no shortcut. You just have to DO it.

But I think there’s another meaning to it.

Writing is exhausting – mentally, emotionally, even physically. It’s not as easy as simply typing words. It’s more like vomiting words or stripping naked. It takes something out of you.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I can write at any time, but I write best when it’s quiet and I have set aside a large amount of time for writing. That gives me time to “get into the zone” – that space where the words just flow from my brain. It’s almost like being taken out of reality and sucked into the story.

To write a good story it has to have some element of personality. That’s where the pain and the blood, sweat, and tears come in. At the end of the day, it’s the emotions and what the story makes the readers feel that makes it most effective … It’s the personality – the “you”ness that sets it apart from other stories.

So the quote … it’s frustratingly true.

You bleed yourself out whenever you write a story.

You have to think, too, and plan and plot and push yourself to form the ideas and feelings into sentences, yes. There is definitely not NOTHING to writing.

But you also need that rawness and that honesty. That blood. It’s something that can’t be forced and neither is it easy.

It’s guts spilling out on the page and extracting out your essence, slowly, surely, for the world to see.