Writing on this platform has taught me some very valuable lessons and has opened my eyes to what the emotional risks really are.
I am a very deep hearted person, and in return, much of my writing spills out as such. We all know that when a piece comes into our minds, we need to get it out before its gone. We also know that our writing causes the reader to look at what we have written and try to RELATE to it. This can encourage warm fuzzy feelings, or can cause major unwanted drama and hurt feelings. Either way we have done our jobs. We got the point across.
Lately I have been all over the map in my topics. I have written about Trump, I have written about Love and Relationships and I have written a poem about a mother. As I write almost daily, I feel it is necessary to express that my writings are NEVER created to intentionally hurt anyone or to provoke harboured insults.
As writers, we need to be able to show vulnerability, creativity, humility and honesty, or we won’t succeed. Writing is an extension of our hearts, our brains and our souls, spiralling around and forming WORDS. They aren’t always the words we expect to come out. In fact, sometimes, the finished product can be the exact opposite of what we actually planned to spew out.
Sometimes my pieces take a few minutes to create, while others can take DAYS. Sometimes they are about life experiences and sometimes they are just random thoughts and “what ifs” but I NEVER write to “reach out” to any one person or to use this platform as an extension to social media. Its a place to create. Often what I write is fiction based or simply conversational “advice”.
The take away that the reader is left with, is up to them.
I look at articles, blogs and poems on here as VALUABLE pieces. It doesn’t mean that I take them personally or take them to heart. Sometimes they are provocative and they resonate with me for days and sometimes they are just damn good pieces. I CHOOSE TO NEVER LET ANYTHING AFFECT ME PERSONALLY. But, I see them as wonderful tools to inspire me to write more effectively and to teach me that I am not alone in this field.
If I read someone’s article and the topic was about a Bad Day at Work, for example. Even if I had a bad day at work, I would KNOW that this was not a direct hit toward me. It was simply someone else’s ART that, just by pure coincidence matched my “day in the life”.
The risk you take by sharing your art with friends and family is that they WILL read it.
As writers, are we responsible for how we affect the readers? I don’t believe so. If Stephen King didn’t want to scare the shit out of us, he wouldn’t have written Thrillers, but that doesn’t mean that he is personally responsible for your fear of clowns. Right?
Because “It” is not about you . It’s for your entertainment.
So, in saying that, if you write a piece and someone takes it personally and points fingers saying that you directed it at them, I am of the opinion that, first of all, your writing sent a message (thats what its supposed to do) and second, it is up to the reader, what they derive from your words.
Writers don’t write as a source of weaponry. Writers write to get their creativity out on the table. Its not about personal vendetta, its about feelings, dialogue, communication and artistry.
I am writing a novel for a client right now, and his family is nothing less than a shit show’d 3 ring circus of intricate and dysfunctional people. He has shared with me that his mother is an actual tyrant, who will fuck her 8 children over, even beyond the grave. His story is one of madness, murder and addiction and I cannot wait to see how it ends. My client challenges me to write all the time so that he can see where my emotions lie and to ensure that I actually have a grasp of how acidic his family actually is. Challenge accepted.
I wrote a poem for him about his mom.
BUT THERE’S A CATCH
I shared it. I posted on Medium, the challenging piece he set out for me. But guess what. WHAT IF THE WRONG PEOPLE READ IT?
Why should there be WRONG people reading it? Do the WRONG people look at the Mona Lisa? Do the WRONG people listen to Mozart? There really is never a WRONG person observing a piece of art. You look at it, you either enjoy it or not, and you move forward.
Some people may not enjoy the sight of the statue of David. It doesn’t mean that because your name is David that its directed at you. Some people find Marilyn Manson to be an offensive musician. That doesn’t mean that the Lyrics for “The Beautiful People” were written for you…..see where I’m going here?
That shouldn’t matter. As a reader you also have the capabilty and in some cases the responsibility of reaching out to the writer, as many of us do on here, and ASK THE BURNING QUESTIONS.
> What was your thought process behind this piece?
> Do you direct your writing toward particular people or a mass audience?
> What’s the story behind your story?
OR you have the choice of reading it, not taking it personally and moving on. It is not the writer’s responsibility to monitor the emotional responses of their readers. It is the writers responsibility to write, and write well.
My article on The Catch 22 of Writing on Medium says it all. We WANT to share. We NEED exposure. We NEED to be vulnerable. We THRIVE on creativity and we cannot be held responsible if our writing provokes narcissism. We shouldn’t endure emotional backlash over a piece of art.
IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU!