Thursday, May 24, 2007

Aim For a Scab

By Nichole Giles

Emotion is a wonderful thing, and sometimes it strikes you at the oddest times. My regular readers will know that I am by nature an emotional person, for which I’m glad. That isn’t to say I can’t control my feelings, because every day I am learning how to hold the reins. But I have known people who build walls around their hearts, who have to be stabbed deeply and forcefully before they bleed.

How sad is that?

Our feelings are the driving force behind our writing. Without feeling, how would we ever write anything meaningful? Anything important? And how would we ever be able to connect with our readers on the most basic of levels?

Recently I bought a new CD. I love music as much as writing. For me, music fuels or calms my moods, expresses feelings I am otherwise unable to express, and generally makes me a much happier person. This particular CD is by a group on which I had put a personal ban. A few years ago, members of this group used their fame as a public forum to make disparaging and offensive political comments. The chaos that ensued caused them to further lash out at their fans. It was at that point I swore never to listen to their music again.

But time passes, as it tends to do. And the musicians were forced to mature. There were many consequences to their verbal faux pas. More than three years after the incident, the group produced a comeback CD, which I recently bought. Remember my ban? Out the window. Do you know why? Because I heard a few songs on the radio, and the music produced on this album was so full of passion, so full of pure emotion, that I couldn’t not own it. And since I bought it, I haven’t stopped listening to it, singing along at the top of my lungs and hoping to glean just an ounce of the passion poured into the songs. However much they were loved before, none of the music produced in the past by this group compares to the aching music on their most recent CD.

It hits me right in the heart.

Listening to this album has taught me a valuable lesson. It is by emotion, and through feeling that we are touched. I’ve heard it said that writers slit their wrists and let them bleed onto their pages. Well, I’m not saying we have to go that far. But a few drops of blood here and there can only make your story better.

If you’re not going to aim for the reader’s heart, you could at least aim for a scab. Even people with walls have scabs. It’s all a matter of knowing which scab to pick.


C. L. Beck said...

Good point. We have to write to touch the heart of others, not just to tell a story.

Good blog!

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks, C.L! I have found that I always re-read the stories that truly strum my emotional chords.

I'd love to have my readers so hooked that they wouldn't dare give up their well worn copy of my book.

Thanks for commenting.