Emotional Writing

In Jill Jepson’s latest blog post, she suggests we let anger be our writing guide. Jill, author of blog, Writing a Sacred Path, tells us to listen to what our anger is telling us. Is it evoking a fear? Is it defining our boundaries? The more we write, the more we can discover the sources of our anger. In doing so, we can then learn more about ourselves and our world around us. Anger is a teacher, it can also fuel our writing, says Jill. I find this emotion useful for memoir writers.

Of memoirs you’ve read and memoir writers you’ve talked with, I believe you could admit you’ve detected notes of anger. Not necessarily a bad thing. It is a powerful emotion that can illicit strong words and raw, authentic writing. A good thing.

I wouldn’t limit myself to just anger, though. Writing about something that made you ecstatically happy can result in language that is so descriptive that you, the reader, felt the writer’s happiness enough to turn a frown on your face into a smile.

How about writing when anxious or confused. Not only would this be cathartic but also a way to clear your mind and find resolution or a clearer understanding of what has made you feel this way.

The times I have been rendered stuck in a writing slump, I’ve felt indifferent about nothing! My writing is forced and halted, much like my attitude. But it’s when I venture into the world and experience it in person or in print, evoking emotion, I feel open to a writing rhythm.

For example, I wrote in “Under the Birch Tree,” about my brother discovering an occupied hole nestled in a grassy curb around my favorite birch tree. Now this birch tree is not just my favorite, it is my buddy, one I grew to be protective of as a young girl and who protected me. But one day, I betrayed my buddy. I was angry at my brother for his actions and angry at myself. This strong emotional writing became part of the opening for my memoir.

Emotional writing puts your reader in your “already-there” mindset.

Seize your emotions and put them to good use. Your writing could be at its best when it is born from emotion.

For more on Jill Jepson visit http://www.writingasacredpath.com

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