writing through strength and softness

As a writer, I rely upon my vulnerability. I need my bones to be tuned to the quietest night wind, and my instincts to look for shadow, the moment that breaks a smile, the nuances of sighs. This is how I unthread the poetry of everyday life.

But to knit it again into story, that takes strength. Specifically, confidence. I must be confident that I can find the words, find the style, do it right, make something worthwhile. And then I must have the confidence to share it. Promote it.

I must also be confident a reader will find value in the story for themselves. Anyone can write a script on how one should feel about a subject, but to present the subject and sit back, sure the reader will be touched in ways appropriate for their own needs ... that is a little scary.

One of the most difficult tasks I have with my writing is creating a balance between this vulnerability and confidence. I am not good at it. Either my tender fragile sensibility causes everything to fall apart in a beautiful mess of adjectives and anxiety, or my confidence (bravado, mostly) squelches the poetry. I don't so much balance them as juggle them wildly.

I can use daily structure, good health, beloved weather, as a replacement for confidence. (Encouragement is another good stand-in, but I have no one who reads my drafts, so I generally go without that.) Of course, any of those may fail.

There is no replacement for vulnerability.

As I write this post, my confidence wavers once more. Am I sharing too much on a personal level? Could I have written it more poetically? Will it have any value? Will those who are not writers or artists be able to relate it to aspects of their own lives? These are the sorts of questions I also ask when I sit to a story project, but with blogging there is less time available for contemplation, and so I usually go ahead and publish. Ever wonder why I publish posts and then delete them? Because sometimes juggling fails.


  1. "I don't so much balance them as juggle them wildly. "

    I really like that image, that phrasing really.

  2. If we were strong in our confidence, our convictions, our very selves, an artist we would not be.
    When you write from your heart, for you, beauty of word and style will follow. ♥

  3. I wish I could get closer to the point of publishing posts and then deleting them (although it would be better to hit "unpublish" and save the draft) -- I find that my inner critic is more willing to kill these sorts of things before they come out of my fingertips at all.

    Sometimes I think the title of my blog should be "oversharing."