You must be able to feel, to submit to your emotions and the emotions of others. If you are proud of being stoic, you will not be able to write. Writing requires getting into the minds and hearts of your characters and feeling everything they feel. If you can do that, you will be able to write.
I was privileged enough to be able to visit with Paul Young the author of The Shack a few months ago and asked him how he was able to write The Shack on the bus commuting to and from work. Didn’t he spend a lot of time crying? He told me he did spend a lot of time crying and he spent a lot of time with his face turned toward the window of the bus.
We writers are often chided about being too emotional. That is what makes us an author. So…feel. Laugh, cry, morn, be defeated or win in jubilee but feel. Think about how that character must feel as she sits beside her dying husband’s bed. Consider the mother who has just given birth to twins! How would it feel to give birth to a still born? How does it feel to watch your child graduate with his doctorate? How does it feel to watch your child graduate with his doctorate knowing you will not live to see him ever practice medicine? How does it feel to be without a voice? To be very small and loved? To be very small and abused?
I hated the fact that I cry easily. I have been accused of faking and I have been laughed at for crying at movies or when I read a really good book. I cry when someone at my church is hurting. I cry when I am happy. I cry nearly every time I talk. I was sharing this with Paul Young and he shared the following and then later sent me a text so I would have it to reconsider often: “Tears don’t make us blind, they wash away the dust of death that keeps us from seeing.” WPY
That quote changed my life. I am now very thankful God has given me the gift of tears even though I spent my life hating them. I am sorry Father God. I didn’t realize that you were giving me the power to feel; thus the power to write.