• Alwia

Writing is so intimate

Updated: Nov 16, 2017

So last night I was reading an Independent article called 'Ryan Gosling's Golden Globes speech about Eva Mendes wasn't cute, it was sexist.'- and OMG you should have seen those reader comments... I was like:

Anyway, it got me wondering how the writer, Narjas Zatat , is responding to all the vicious attacks on her writing; because I definitely know how I would feel  if I were in her place:

Writing is such an intimate process. In fact, I can only think of two other experiences that are more intimate. The first is giving birth to my daughter, and the second...well you can guess the second.

Think it of it this way: writers open up their minds and deepest thoughts and feelings to the public. Like who in their right mind would do that? If everyone started to express what's really on their mind, things would start to get weird very quickly. Imagine that Erika Mitchell (the author of Fifty Shades of Grey, in case you were wondering) didn't write her ideas but just spoke about them:

(Erika out for a coffee with BFF Samantha) 

Erika: So lately I've been thinking a lot about sex, and whips. Lots of whips, and chains. Then there's this hot man and more sex. Sometimes it's violent, but sometimes it's really quite cute. I kind of like it.


But for some reason, if you write those same ideas  on paper, it's suddenly not creepy anymore.  Better yet if you get paid to write them down, because social validation is everything these days...

Erika: Oh no. It's for this book I'm writing. It's actually really  about emotions and deep stuff.

Samantha: Ohh. Now, that makes perfect sense. Because there's a huge difference between thinking about something weird and writing about it. *Turns away*

Can someone please explain to me why creepy thoughts are only creepy if they stay inside your head. But as soon as they become part of the world of tangible things, people view them as deep and thought provoking or something to be analysed and studied?

Anyway, this is the reason why writers can get very emotionally attached to their own work. You're essentially giving strangers permission to take a stroll inside your head and when someone doesn't like what they find, it's hard to not take it personally. Because nothing could be more personal to you than your thoughts on paper.

The trick is with being a writer is how to be true to yourself without revealing too much about yourself. But this is easier said than done. Some writers don't see this as a problem. But I personally, tend to get very paranoid about what people would think of me if I wrote something taboo or out of character. Like there are certain things that I just don't want my mum to know I think about. This is what I picture in my head, when I contemplate writing something a bit naughty:


Seriously, am I the only one who thinks writers are a bit creepy for sharing the kind of things they do?


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