Friday, January 29, 2010

Evocative Writing

Multi-genre writing equals multiple personalities. Sometimes it feels that way. Most people know me as an inspirational writer because I have been published in ten Chicken Soup for the Soul books. But I also write and have published humor, poetry and my latest essay started out as feel good piece and ended up being mild horror. Sometimes I can't believe myself! The easiest, yet most difficult thing for me to write is personal essay. Not so difficult to write, but to let go of, because once I submit it, I risk publication of some personal nitty-gritty. But is that not a goal, to get my work out there? I have some ambiguous feelings about a strong piece I just sent to a literary magazine.

Everything I have had published in lit mags has come from deep within my family closet. It and has been expository. I am not going to allow fear to hold me back. How about you? As long as you do not defame another person's character, you have the right to write and publish your feelings and thoughts.

Try to write an evocative essay today about an event or topic that might feel uncomfortable at first. Just allow yourself to write, and watch the feelings flow.

8 comments:

K9friend said...

I've found that writing these types of essays can be difficult, but also cathartic. The writing typically is more for me than for potential publication.

Bookie said...

I recently did just as you asked when I sumbitted a short piece to the Erma Bombeck contest. Now I am scared to death I might win! I wrote about my kids coming back home for holiday visit--they won't see the humor of it! My husband read it and said "go for it"--but he won't take the heat if our kids see it. :) Now if I could have abundant literary success, appear on Oprah, and accumulate bounitful paychecks, they MIGHT forgive me.

Linda O'Connell said...

I used to worry about what others thought of me, because I wanted my writing judged, not my life. I have had such success with this type of writing it serves two purposes: publication and like Pat said, it is cathartic.

I too entered the Erma contest. I just gad a story accepted in Sasee magazine about being an expectant grandmother. If you'd like to read it, send me email addresses.

Linda O'Connell said...

Well that should have been HAD, eee gads!

Bookie said...

I am not familiar with the magazine, but would love to read the story. Thanks. bookwoman1015@sbcglobal.net

Beth M. Wood said...

Hi Linda,

With my most recent personal essay, I know exactly what you mean. The best writing (painting, drawing, etc.) comes from heartache and pain. For me, it is difficult to critique myself, being so close to the subject, but it does help me view it from a greater distance. Almost like looking at my "younger" self. Thanks so much for your editor's eye, honest evaluations and always dead-on ideas of how to tighten things up!

Cathy C. Hall said...

I write A LOT of essays-and I'm very mindful that I'm not just putting my story out there, but also the someones in the story. So, most of my essays are definitely on the humor side (and I STILL get in trouble). When I have something deeper, darker, or disturbing to say, I write fiction. It's mostly peopled with my family and friends. Cleverly disguised, of course. :-)

Linda O'Connell said...

Thanks for your responses. All these years I have said I can't write fiction. I recently discovered I can, and I have awards to prove it. It is as simple as changing the word I to a name other than my own and changing some of the facts to protect the guilty...uh, I mean innocent.