Writing has always been a crucial part of my life. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I left my house without a notebook and a smattering of pens in my bag. That being said, my identity as a writer has been altered as I’ve gotten older and grown to know both myself and who I want to be as a creative. When I was a lot younger, and took to my journals every night before I went to sleep, I would tirelessly recount the events of my day, often skipping over any grievance that may have occurred for fear that in penning the not-so-good, anyone who read my thoughts (really, who was reading them, though?) would think of me differently.
As I’ve gotten older, and been exposed to a plethora of personal writing from peers and more renown authors alike, I’ve realized that transparency in a person’s writing is crucial. Writers write as an act of catharsis, and readers often seek words that they can resonate with. It’s a deeply binding experience to prove to writer and reader alike that their experiences, no matter how isolating they may feel, are universal, and ultimately, we are not alone.
Often, I find opening up to be incredibly difficult, but have ultimately found that while people enjoy whimsy, it is the real and raw that people respond to. People will not think lesser of a writer for showing their vulnerabilities, rather, be able to better understand and relate to them instead.
The best way to put this into practice that I have found, after establishing the goal of written word, is to heavily enforce first-person narrative. Often, when I’m doing my most personal writing, I (almost unknowingly) resort to second or third-person narrative, probably as a means to create distance from what I’m writing if I feel it’s too personal or makes me uncomfortable. Taking ownership in your writing by repeating I, I, I, I, will allow a writer to center themselves in the idea that not only are they writing for themselves, but for the hope that someone will identity with and feel comforted by the same words.