Today, I read a letter by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was his response to a manuscript that a friend of the family sent to him for his critique. In the letter he wrote “… the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher… you’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions… this is especially true when you begin to write… when, in short, you have only your emotions to sell…” He went on to give examples using his own work, Dickens, and Hemingway. “Ernest Hemingway’s first stories ‘In Our Time‘ went right down to the bottom of all that he had ever felt and known.”
All day I’ve been considering Fitzgerald’s words in relation to my own writing. It finally hit me: Recently, I have not gone right down to the bottom of all I ever felt and known. About a year and a half ago, I underwent a major emotional trauma. I noticed that the trauma affected my writing negatively. I have built a dam that holds my emotions at bay. I cannot go as deep as I need to in order to get the best results in my writing projects. I hold back emotions to divert any negative outcomes but those same emotions are needed to create great work. I remember writing poems and feeling every word that pulled tears from my eyes. I haven’t written a poem that powerful in a very long time. I’ve written scenes where I was actually there, experiencing the gust of wind on that silent road, pouring my heart into musical notes through that saxophone. I’ve never actually played an instrument but I did the day I wrote that prose poem. But that was long ago. Now, it comes in spurts, in bits and pieces, glimpses of another me. I long for that type of writing more often. I still have ideas though. And that gut-wrenching desire to create. So, I will trudge on. I will write everyday until my dam breaks.
My main goal for this round, actually for life, is to write everyday, a minimum of 250 words. So far this week, I have reached my life goal.