This isn’t a technique for the weak of heart — It’s a journey only the brave or insane can take.
*A minstrel was a medieval European bard who performed songs whose lyrics told stories of distant places or of existing or imaginary historical events. Although minstrels created their own tales, often they would memorize and embellish the works of others. The Modern Minstrel observes the world around him and shares it with us as lyrical story. This series was inspired by Luke Davis, whose eye for story and ear for lyrical prose are featured here.
Do you want to write with emotion, do you want people to cry, fall in love, shout for joy or have their knuckles turn white? This isn’t a technique for the weak of heart; it’s a journey for the courageous, the unstable, the depressed and the manic; this is a journey only the brave or the insane may take. The only true way to put emotion into your writing is to have the courage to dive so deep into those emotions that your mind is set afire with them. You don’t write the words of emotion, they write themselves. They etch, fill, burn and scratch themselves into the very paper at your fingertips. When you write with emotion you will never be able to read your writing without taking that journey again. Beware, read further at your own peril.
Do you want to write of a man so heartbroken, lying fetal on a sunlit floor as the darkness descends on him, a man trapped in an eternal cage of pain and helplessness? A man whose future vanished at the end of a sentence and whose world was destroyed with the sound of a slamming door. The only true way to write of this man is to dive into his pain, to feel every dream shatter, to feel the moment his heart stopped beating, to take it inside so deep that you are this man. You don’t write these words of pain, they write themselves. As your chest feels like it’s been hit with Thor’s hammer and your mind brims with such pain there is no outlet for it, the words will be etched onto the very page by acid tears freely flowing from your eyes. What is left behind once the tears have dried is the emotion this man is feeling because that man is you. Beware, for this pain is real.
Do you want to write of a mother holding her babe for the first time, drenched in sweat and grime in a sterile room, none of which exist to her? Her entire being focused on her child’s eyes as they open for the first time. Experiencing nothing but the forever of the now as her child, her first child, takes its first breaths, feeling the fragile heat and weight held lightly in her arms. The only true way to write of this mother is to dive into her love, to feel the very bond forming between the two, to know that time for a while now stands still, to take it inside so deep that you are this mother. You don’t write these words of love, they write themselves. As your heart fills with joy and wonder and you cradle the page to your chest and the paper wrinkles the creases will be filled with the love this mother feels. What is left behind once the paper is straightened is the emotion this mother is feeling because that mother is you. Beware, for this love is real.
Do you want to write of a team of men winning a championship game, tired and exhausted yet at the same time overflowing with boundless excitement and pride? They burn with such vitality that their feet do not touch the ground and ant-like they circle each other, slapping each other’s backs and shouting. The only true way to write of this team is to dive into their joy, to feel the months of training, stress and nerves being wound up and released in a single explosive moment as the final goal is scored, to take it inside so deep that you are this team. You don’t write these words of joy, they write themselves. As your veins fill with adrenaline and your very nerves are set afire your fingertips will burn these words onto the page at hand. What is left behind once the smoke clears is the emotion this team is feeling because that team is you. Beware, for this joy is real.
Do you want to write of the plight of a caged wolf, snarling, snapping and shaking in rage at its denial of freedom? Bars where a forest once was and its enemy out of reach mere feet away. A single solitary thought exploding in its mind, that of escape. A single solitary target exists for its anger, the man on the other side of the bars. The only true way to write of this wolf is to dive into that rage, to feel the focus, the incredible intensity of hatred, the burgeoning need to escape from this prison, to take it inside so deep that you are this wolf. You don’t write these words of rage, they write themselves. As every muscle in your body coils, clenches and convulses your fingertips will scratch these words onto the page. What is left behind once your fingers straighten is the emotions this wolf is feeling because that wolf is you. Beware, for this rage is real.
Beware, for these emotions you wish to write must be real. These emotions must be deep. These emotions will etch your soul with hurt, fill it with love, make your soul burn with joy or scratch it deeply with rage. When you finish this journey from emotion to words you will be left desiccated and scarred by what you have felt. But this journey is real and your words contain so much of yourself that you will forever remember this journey every time you read those pages. When you read those words, knowing the entire world will see you at your most naked and vulnerable, you will know you have succeeded. Beware; for this is a journey only for the brave or the insane.