Writing From Your Gut

2:11 PM


I'm sick today, and I didn't remember this until just now, so please forgive me for the possible shortness/rushed-ness of this post. But oh well.

So.

I did a brave thing recently. It didn't exactly happen on purpose. My extreme pantser self didn't plan it, not at all. I started a new writing project besides Pariah after NaNoWriMo - you can see it in the 'Current Projects' tab up above. Long story short, it's a dystopia sort of, taking place in Norway. And there are failed experiments and mental patients and all that fun stuff. But that doesn't really matter. What does matter, and what's teaching me something about writing and myself and all that cheesiness, is that my MC, Havard, is way more like me than I expected. He has anxiety, he's deathly afraid of needles and tubes and hospital things, and he's got more than a little of my sarcasm and often pessimistic outlook on life and people. We're not extremely similar when it comes down to it, but I put a little more of myself into this character than I've originally planned. It's a little painful.

One of my favorite things about writing is how a little piece of you finds its way into each of your characters, no matter what you do. They could have a completely opposite personality, but they're straight from your mind and you've put something into. I think that's amazing, and it's why characters are my favorite part of writing and reading in general. But I've never before had a character who struggles with some of the exact same issues I do, and is put through those things. It's been difficult.

Kind of like this, yeah. 

It's not fun. I have to really dig deep inside myself and find the root of all those issues and how they make me feel and how I react to them, if I want to write this character accurately. It's like writing about all my fears and insecurities on a larger scale, and usually writing out my feeling and reactions to them, which, for someone who likes to avoid things, isn't great.

But I've gotten closer to this particular character than I usually do even among my own characters, who I all understand and freely sympathize with. It's making this book a lot slower and harder but also easier all at once to write. I haven't had to write from my gut, from my own feelings and experiences like this before, and it's been super interesting. The character and the story have turned out way deeper and way more intriguing than I thought they would because of it, I think. I think it's making me a better writer, too, learning how to use those feelings and experiences to create accurate reactions.

And that's why I love writing. It's painful at times, and it's involved getting into stuff I didn't necessarily want to write, and putting parts of me out there that I'm not a fan of. Writing is hard. But I think it's worth it, even when it's making me want to tear my hair out and cry. I found this quote (on Pinterest, of course!) that reminded me of what I'm going through with it right now:



I think that's absolutely true - writing stuff like this helps me to learn new things about it that I don't think I would have learned any other way. 

*clears throat* So, I got through a touchy-feely post without too much cheesiness, I think. That's my little writing story of the day, and I hope it wasn't too incoherent. Now you tell me. Have you ever had to really write from your gut and your own experiences before? How did you feel about it? How did you manage it? Comment away. 

And a little announcement: I've got a more or less consistent posting schedule now, which is as follows: 

  • Tuesdays: Writing related posts. Tips, funniness, cheesy posts like this, etc. 
  • Thursdays: Something bookish. A review, talk about books, and so on. 
  • Wednesdays: Linkups, if I'm participating in one. 
  • Saturdays: Whatever I feel like. Myers-Briggs, stuff about my WIPs, character interviews, and so on. 
Hopefully this works out. Have a great week, everyone!

Because let's face it, this is just cool.

7 comments

  1. Love this post! I've had to write from my own experiences a number of times, and usually it tugs at my heartstrings. I also typically find that the characters I initially think will be least like me end up being the ones I empathize with the most.

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    1. Thanks! Ye, there's quite a lot of heartstring tugging. :) And I agree so much - I didn't plan this AT ALL and then the kid decided to go and be all relatable.

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  2. Feel better soon! I feel like I am always writing from my gut. Everything that my characters do (even if it's really unusual and something I haven't done) can be connected back to my own personal experiences. It might be something specific, or something really general, like feeling fear. Either way, I can delve deep into how I would react to the situation. Sometimes it's painful to be really honest in my writing, but that's what I love when I read a story, so that's what I should do when I write one. Also, I'm really excited for your new blog schedule.

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    1. I so agree with that. Those are usually the ones that turn out the best and the deepest, in my opinion. It takes some searching but in my mind it's definitely worth it.
      And thank you! I'm excited about it too.

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  3. Wow, I like this a lot! I myself have trouble really connecting with my characters on the level that you have, and so it's nice to see what it must be like. :) (I'm an ISTJ, if anyone wants to know, which means I'm not super in touch with my feelings.)

    Still, I love the post, and also, I look forward to seeing more as you crack down on your schedule. :D

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    1. Thanks! Relating to my characters so emotionally is something new to me, the heartless ESTP :P It's definitely an interesting experience.

      I'm excited about the schedule, too! We'll see how well it works out :)

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  4. My MC right now is turning out to be quite the Mary Sue character....dang it! I try and I try but I just can't do it! She's morphing more and more into me lol

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