In her recent New York Times column, writer Susan Shapiro describes the need for writers to be metaphorically naked in their writing. In fact, the first assignment she gives her feature journalism students is to write a three-page essay detailing your most humiliating secret. As she says...
It encourages students to shed vanity and pretension and relive an embarrassing moment that makes them look silly, fearful, fragile or naked. You can’t remain removed and dignified and ace it. I do promise my students, though, that through the art of writing, they can transform their worst experience into the most beautiful. I found that those who cried while reading their piece aloud often later saw it in print. I believe that’s because they were coming from the right place — not the hip, but the heart.
It can be scary to be that open, that stripped down, that vulnerable...can't it? It's one thing to talk about something in your past that perhaps you'd rather forget, but it's quite another to see it on paper -- permanently -- in black and white. But, really, those are the sorts of confessions that people respond to the most. It makes us feel like we're part of something and that we're not alone -- that others are just as real and human as we are. Sometimes, it's so easy to forget that. For me, I'm more amazed every day by how honest this blog has pushed me to be. It's made me comfortable just sitting with my emotions for awhile, even if the feelings are painful.
Are you comfortable with your emotions, friends? Would you rather keep them to yourself or share them? Has your approach to feelings and emotions changed over the years? Why? xoxo
P.S. As we move into the new year, I am so excited to get back to the regular posting schedule! Thank you for being the most wonderful readers in the whole world, friends! :)
[Photo via Le Love]