I have a habit of oversharing.
I open my mouth and suddenly all of my most intimate thoughts jump from my mind to my tongue, and then my high school math teacher knows all about my seasonal affective disorder or the entire Goshen College campus knows about my existential crisis or the guy I’m talking to on Tinder finds out about the time I peed all over myself.
It’s not always the most becoming characteristic.
However, I think it’s an important characteristic to possess as a person, but more importantly as a writer.
Lang Leav, in her book “Sad Girls,” said, “The act of writing is in itself a form of betrayal… Writers take things that are deeply personal… and strip them into words. Then they take those words, naked and vulnerable, and give them to the world.”
The purpose of writing is essentially to word-vomit onto a page. However, it doesn’t end there–it shouldn’t end there. The next step is to share your word-vomit in hopes of it affecting someone else.
I think the most beautiful part of this process is that no matter what you’ve written–no matter how specific, or personal, your writing is–someone else will connect with it.
Someone will read what you’ve written and suddenly feel less alone, less misunderstood, less confused.
What I once thought was an annoying character flaw has suddenly become my saving grace. Being able to write about hard, embarrassing, upsetting emotions and moments without hesitation has suddenly become my best quality as a writer. And it wasn’t until I read “Sad Girls” that I realized how valuable that characteristic is.
The books that evoke the most feeling for me, they’re all intimately created pieces of art. The contents of the books are based off of real, gritty emotions that the author has felt. And emotions I have felt as well. How incredible is it that I can connect on a personal level with someone I’ve never met, all because of a few words printed on a page?
Can you see why I’m double majoring in Writing and Journalism? Human connection is something so vital – so desperately needed.
And the written word is one of the easiest ways to get that desperately needed connection.
I invite you to overshare – we have a page in The Record dedicated to oversharing (I’m referring to the Perspectives page, although one could also consider the Funnies page to be filled with just a little bit too much information). Write what feels right, and then send it our way if you’d like.
We’ll be eagerly awaiting your word-vomit.