Finding the Vein
Someone once said that “Writing is easy; you just open a vein and bleed.” This statement is both true and false. The falsehood comes from the fact that writing may be easy, but opening a vein into your soul certainly isn’t. To share with the world, even a piece of yourself takes a personal courage and self-awareness only a handful of people possess. Thus, many will write, but only a few will become authors. To make this important transition from writer to author takes more than the ability to tell an interesting story; indeed, it requires a birthing of one’s creative thoughts and ideas through the medium of the written word and nothing could be arduous.
Birth is a painful process filled with agonizing screams, the bloody ripping of flesh, and the mingled tears of both the old and new lives present. To write a fully fleshed-out novel every author must go through a similar birthing process – this is especially true when it comes to giving your writing a strong voice. Even in the world of genre writing where plots, characters, and even themes are often carbon copies of each other, a compelling and unique point of view is still required to capture the attention of modern readers. The voice behind the telling of any piece must be captivating, distinctive, and above all transparently human; anything less runs the danger of being dismissed and ignored by today’s voyeuristic readership.
The world we pen our stories in has changed, within a few seconds the personal details of our family, friends, neighbors, and distant acquaintances are accessible and can be viewed by the public through social media. This has moved looking into the private lives of others from a criminal behavior to a common place one. Subsequently, fiction must be larger than any of the lives we can read about online every moment of every day. Fledgling authors must therefore go through the torture of tearing their works apart again and again until the new life of their writing emerges.
For me, the birth of any writing is so much more than opening a vein; it’s giving voice to past sufferings, current joys, and chastened hopes. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding when all of these elements flow together creating the vein/voice of any piece. Success is not measured by the number of words written, but by the opening of the right vein.