Photo credit: Heart Chakra by Art by Adelaide
Editor’s Note: It took me four tries to write this P / P Master Class. This published piece is on the heels of writing a free writing session entitled, “Take Time (open up.).”
“Take Time (open up.),” was written after hearing the song, March 14. A song I didn’t notice at the end of the album, Scorpion. I thought the record ended with “Final Fantasy,” but I found it after digging into the album for some time. This is how you become a Master. You dig in and listen because anything that is well crafted will a) teach you how to craft your own work b) teach you to never underestimate art. I like the album “Father of Asahd” as well.
When you dig into art and listen for days, weeks and months, your thinking becomes clearer, thoughts come to your mind, you’re reminded of memories and finally, you’re convinced because it’s ok to open up because someone was brave enough to do it before you ever had the notion to do so. You begin to attain the ability to tell the unadulterated truth of your vulnerability, your innocence and your heart.
This Master Class piece is about guts. You don’t always have to spill them but you’ve got to lay them on the table and bring them with you everywhere you go.
P / P Master Class Four: Open Up
Your most painful moments will eventually become your most fruitful writing processes.
Writing, creative work and working as an author is not just about how you craft sentences. It is about being able to be as transparent as possible. Being a writer is a solitary job. Yes, there are teams who write songs and textbooks, but for the most part, you’re on your own. You’re job is to do something alone. It is what it is. So, when you’re trying to write while going through a deeply painful or traumatic time in your life, you’re going to feel extremely lonely. Most writers like to be alone. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Being lonely and hurt can inspire your most vulnerable and valuable pieces of writing.
You’ve got to choose what you fill your mind with.
If you fill your mind with Bugs Bunny cartoons, you’re going to think like Bugs. I know that sounds silly, but some people love cartoons and that’s ok. I have to reiterate this simple concept because you cannot truly open up unless you live in a state of mind where you are modeling yourself after a lot of information, which in this case, would be artists who are honest, forthright and well-articulated. If you don’t, you’re going to eventually get clogged or what many would say, “blocked.”
If you hold back and hold things in, you’re going to get writer’s block.
Plain and simple. Writing from the brain and not your heart will only lead to suffering, deep anguish and nothing to offer the world.
You write from the heart by listening to people’s stories and by listening to yourself.
Learning people’s lives, not just tragedies, but their feelings and perspectives can make you a great writer. To be a good writer, you’ve got to listen. You’ve got to respect life. If you don’t respect yours and other’s lives as a whole or just simply you will not be a well-rounded writer. It is important to take others seriously, not in a stoic manner, but with every morsel of your being.
The bravery to actually do the emotional labor with yourself.
Once you learn to take others seriously, you’ve got to really bring yourself into the mix of thinking, accepting and creating broadly. You can have a great large, sweeping concept in your mind to dissect and write about, but until the day you learn to write from the heart, even if you only do it once a year, you’re not going to understand and live out what writing is truly about.
The best writing includes acute vulnerability.
Just like any other piece of art, writing can become flat. Inflate your writing by being an individual. You may think of yourself as an ordinary person. The truth of the matter is that there will never be a moment in time where there are two people who are exactly alike. So, your feelings, your story, your validity is unique – one of a kind. Write like it.
Give yourself time. Don’t rush a vulnerable piece of writing.
Again, this piece and the last essay took me about 3 months to write. Writing takes time. Don’t rush yourself. Be patient with yourself and begin the process of opening up by knowing that one day, you’re going to have to let go of what’s lodged in your heart at some point. It might as well be on the page.