Today I scanned The Writer's Almanac entry on American poet Sharon Olds. One comment I noticed was that she felt writing is physical and for her it come from her lungs.
It set me thinking about my own writing and where it comes from. The logical place especially when writing factual projects is that it comes from my brain. I'm assessing what needs to be included, checking the accuracy of what I write; in short it all seemed to come from the logical side of my brain.
But that's not entirely the case because even for such projects, I have in mind the end reader as well as my client. A case in point is the medical preface I worked on yesterday. While I had to make sure that it was accurate, I had to take into account what the author stated was his goal for the whole piece. He wanted to get across the outcomes people can achieve for their patients using the techniques he was offering.
When I was working on the piece, I did have in mind the end user of all of the techniques the writer was talking about. It will be someone who is afraid of the disease that seems to be taking over their body. Not only at the mercy of the disease but also of the medical intervention they need for their condition.
To that extent, the writing came from my heart because I had this picture of the person on the receiving end of the medical procedure I was editing. Maybe that seems to be far fetched. I'm not the one with the condition, It's not happening to me and the piece is aimed at the oncologists and technicians who will deal with such people.
When I think about other projects I've done recently, such as a brochure for a not for profit training organisation I know my emotions were involved. I interviewed some of the recipients of the training and tried to include their pleasure and satisfaction with the outcomes of the training organisations work on their behalf.
It's difficult for me to detach my emotions completely because I have to become enthused or I can't inject whatever the piece needs to connect to its reader.
Hmm. Interesting. I would have said that my emotions were there at the service of the piece but I hadn't so much connected it to writing from my heart.
Any thoughts about your own writing?