Nomi Leasure On… Great Writing And Being Heard

by Nomi Leasure

I’ve gone through a lot this past year and knowing that I’m not alone when reading your blogs helps me keep pushing. I’m in my sophomore year of college and wish to pursue a career in writing. Writing is my passion and helps me get through my toughest of times as well as my brightest moments. I just wanted to know if you have any advice for pursuing this. What did it take for you to step out of your comfort zone? And to share that with the world? – Maria A

First, thank you for your kind words and support. It means a lot when people reach out in solidarity around what’s being explored on my blog, and here on Taylor. You?ve unknowingly unearthed the gem at the heart of a career in writing: Making others feel that they are not alone; connecting disparate people and parts of the world so that each reader may expand in their own right. Readership, fan base, money and accolades pale in comparison to hearing that you have moved someone.

If you think about it, that’s all great writing is: Lines and words that string a communal thread through people; words and scenes that resonate in the mind or heart or soul and make one think ah yes, so someone else gets it. We write because we have something to say, we write because we want to be heard. But when we write most honestly, we write to pour our bleeding hearts into the warm, welcoming palms of someone who will make us feel less alone. A reader we have never met, but whose heart beats in time with the cadence of our prose. Great writing, especially that which is written with the intent to publish at some juncture, ought to be written in such a way that communicates the author’s ability to write perfect prose, tips for which can be found from Jericho Writers which will help a piece of writing reach that publish-ready standard.

Honesty is what is interesting – honest thoughts, honest opinions. Not what you think may get clicks, likes or reposts – but truths laid bare and naked across pages. These truths can come in the form of Shakespearean like poems, or in a Buzzfeed-style list of ten things you can do with a ramen packet. Your truth is your truth.

If you are already writing, as you say, to get through your ?toughest of times? as well as your ?brightest moments? well, you?ve already begun the most important part. You?re writing to build a stronger bond with who you are inside. You are discovering that the person you are in your daily life requires a conversation with the person you are at the end of the day – when you?ve shed your layers. You intertwine with your deeper self for intimate moments of pure honesty that can only be explored through words – your words. You are learning that that deeper self sometimes reaches up and forces your fingers to expose who you really are underneath it all.

Keep going.

Build an authentic voice. Read, read, read, and read some more. Read like a writer. Read and take note of how the words play on the page. Be cognizant of their relationships with one another, and how their subtle syntax controls the reader?s mind. Look around and realize that you?ve been taken down a path and go back a few paragraphs to find out how you’ve arrived there. When you find an author whose style seems to capture the inner workings of your mind (Jonathan Safran Foer, for me) don?t be intimidated to imitate him or her. It is, of course, not only the most sincere form of flattery, but an arduous and fruitful writing exercise. Read Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg:

?One purpose of writing?its central purpose?is to offer your testimony about the character of existence at this moment. It will be part of your job to say how things are, to attest to life as it is. This will feel strange at first. You?ll wonder whether you?re allowed to say things that sound not merely observant but true, and not only true in carefully framed, limited circumstances, but true for all of us and, perhaps, for all time. Who asked you to say how things are? Where do you get the authority to do any of this? The answer is yours to find.? – Verlyn Klinkenborg

The craft and style that surround your ?testimony about the character of existence at this moment? will come with years, or as Klinkenborg simplifies ?months, and months, and months.? Similar to how your style has surely evolved since a child, and likely will differ years to come to how it is now. You will find various ways of expressing what you have to say, and if you?re brave, will play with various styles, outlets, mediums and modes.

I have always been a bit of an open book. An exhibionist of sorts. So I?ve felt cozy under lots of little eyes peering in through the pixels. But if what you?re writing is truth, your truth, you will feel so strong after setting it loose on the world. It takes courage, but babe, you?ve got this.

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1 comment

Maria A December 6, 2016 - 2:45 am

Thank you for absolutely being such an inspiration, I truly take the most of what I can get and put that into perspective in my writing, I strive to share my writings to those who need someone to relate too just like when I go and read your blogs, thank you so much


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