Looking Inward

Dear World

Please Kill Me,

Aloha and happy mismatching socks day (shh, I’m trying to start a thing, don’t ruin it). It’s Thursday here in America’s nose ring -i.e. New York City, (keep it quiet —I’m inceptioning)- it’s cold, it’s windy, it’s drab, (and I’m pretty sure I saw a racoon riding a possum uphill) – so obviously, it’s yet another great day for the ongoings of NaNoWriMo.

Yesterday, I touched on a couple of things that you could do to interestingly develop your protagonist -NaNoWriMo or otherwise (Does anyone else HATE that abbreviation?). Bearing in mind that these next few posts will likely follow the “writing tips/motivation” trend, I’d like to again stress that these are merely thoughts and opinions (like everything else), and not strict rules (like the dictatorship that America is about to become. #Sorry #Couldn’tHelpMyself.)

As writers, we always begin with the most grandiose plans of action. Our story is always birthed in an intense idea, belief, (hallucinogen), etc -that become our job to bottleneck and humanize. With this humanization, our sights slowly descend from the cosmos to the tinier -yet more complex dimension -that is our souls. We look inward to flesh our story out.

Don’t me wrong, there are some of us (wizards?) who begin from the heart and soul when they’re inspired to write a project. My point is that regardless of the road you take -all pathways will eventually lead inward.

For anyone not familiar with this part of the process, or for those of you who’ve been writing at a distance from your own emotion -let me explain something- YOU NEED THAT MOMENT. When you open yourself up to the page – you’re not only giving the entirety of your effort but effectively the wholeness of your soul and of who you are as a conscious being. Communicating that to the reader through your story is of the utmost importance. It’s how you develop strong-willed characters, it’s how you create weighted scenarios -whose outcomes yield emotional response, DAMN IT, it’s how you write.

Looking deep inside can be a task if you’re the type to avoid your own emotions. This doesn’t make you a coward. Even those of us familiar with tapping into our more emotionally unstable side, fear the moments where it rears it’s scolding head into our prose. Plainly put, it sucks -but we need it. Once you learn to use it -the sucking will cease.

When we turn inward we tend to find our deepest and most daunting fears, our most passionate loves, our most coveted desires, and everything else that makes a person tick. Normal people might seek therapy to deal with this, but as writers, we have the distinct ability to translate these deeply embedded emotions into beauty through words. Never underestimate your potential for that.

So remember every forgotten pain, internalized emotion, unresolved regret, and the words you never said. Tap into your soul. Look inward and allow the intensity of those emotions to bleed onto the page. Be healed by them -as you write something well worth reading. (And it can be quite therapeutic. Just don’t light anything on fire, okay pumpkin?).

See you in the writer’s room.

Inwardly Yours (that sounds naughty),

-Antwan Crump.

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