By Abyrne |
As we talk about the things we have known since we were young that enable us to be great writers and get to the letter “E” in the alphabet we reach something that is skill supported but yet a non-skill item on our list. It is our Enthusiasm. We didn’t need someone to teach us how to be excited or enthusiastic; we have been since before we knew that there were words like exciting and enthusiastic. We knew from the moment we got something unexpected and wonderful what it meant, even if we didn’t understand the concept. The same is true with writing.
Enthusiasm for your project is what makes a story a joy or a drag; and truly if it’s a drag for you, it is for your readers too. When you are telling the tale because it is exciting to you it boosts your enthusiasm for the story and makes it flow. When you find that you’re distracted and willingly avoiding the writing, you will find that the story has lulled, or perhaps it’s just your enthusiasm for the project. You need to take a moment and kick start your adrenaline, reread the passage your started with, dig out the outline or the image of the protagonist that drives you to show them to the world, find a piece of music that ‘screams’ the story to you…but find your voice. Motivation is the skill to drive emotion and enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm you have or don’t is the result of being able to motivate yourself to the purpose at hand…writing the story.
As long as we’ve mentioned it, another great ‘E’ word that is a biggie in writing is emotion. I’ve heard it time and time again and it’s always true….People may not remember what you said, they may not remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel. This is true for good or for bad. What are you making your readers feel? Are you letting them feel at all? Are you showing them or telling them? If you are showing them you are likely drawing them into the tale in such a way to allow them to feel the story as it unfolds. It is what drives the joy and the heartbreak at the highs and lows in the tale.
Emotion is why readers cannot put the book down, where another tale with the same plotline that is telling is cast aside before the third chapter. Do we all know and understand that while you will hook a reader in the first 50 pages, if you neglect them later on the only emotion they remember is disappointment? It’s not enough to have a great hook or bait if you don’t have the strength to keep the tension on the line until the tale is done you’re going come up with an empty net. Talk about blowing your enthusiasm.
At the end of the day, the simple truth is that we all have a story to tell. Maybe it’s a story that others want to hear and maybe not. Maybe we have a story that is so compelling that it has to be shared for the greater good and when that happens we need to take up the charge to write with courage and conviction, excitement and enthusiasm to tell the story as it should be conveyed. We have it within us to remember what it means to be moved by something, enthusiasm for that emotion is everything, even when the emotion we have to convey is not joy. We have to be willing and able to recognize the difference between the low points in a story and the lack of motivation and self-correct our course to see it through and give voice the tale that we have in us wanting out. And above all, we need to remember that time and effort are better teachers than wishes and wants and get our motivation moving to make it happen. You have a voice, use it.