Writing Quote, January 25, 2010 — “Opening a Vein”

There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
–Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

Do you pour yourself onto the page with everything you write?

Do you pour yourself onto the page with everything you write?

www.inkthinkerblog.com — I wouldn’t necessarily posit that ALL writing is tantamount to spilling one’s blood on the page. The good writing, though — the writing that grabs you and won’t let go — I think that can often come from a very raw, deep place inside the writer.

When I write the proposals I am so often called upon to create, I’m not exactly leaving my heart with them even though I always try to infuse even the most technical of writing projects with passion. But when I write about something that leaves me feeling affected — whether breathless, thrilled, disgusted, or otherwise — it’s a whole different ballgame.

You might think that by leaving a little piece of yourself in everything you write you would eventually be left empty. I’d argue that just the opposite is true: With each part of yourself you put on the page, you grow and become fuller and richer as a result.

What do you think about Smith’s quote?

– Kristen

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

9 comments… add one
  • Andrew Beierle Jan 25, 2010

    It’s one of my favorites, right up there with “Sir, no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.” Samuel Johnson.

    • Kristen King Jan 25, 2010

      We’ve got some Sammy J. coming up later this week, my dear. Stay tuned!

  • Deb Ng Jan 25, 2010

    Though I liken my writing more to my heart and soul, I totally get the blood reference…and now I’ll be thinking about that every time I sit down to type.
    .-= Deb Ng´s last blog ..The Brand New Jeans Approach to Freelance Writing =-.

    • Kristen King Jan 25, 2010

      I can see both. I think I may relate more to blood, sweat, and tears these days than heart and soul, but it definitely goes in creative cycles! I’ll be back to heart and soul in a week or so, when I’m no longer revising a draft. ;)

  • Nannette Jan 26, 2010

    A friend of mine named his blog Open the Vein after that quote until he decided to no longer write under and alias. At any rate, what you put into your writing is like the love you put into your children, spreading it around doesn’t diminish the strength.
    .-= Nannette´s last blog ..Submission Fees Revisited: Should Journals That Charge Submission Fees Level the Playing Field =-.

    • Kristen King Jan 26, 2010

      Beautiful analogy you make with putting love into your writing being like putting love into your children. Love is not finite; it will just keep expanding as much as you need it to! Thanks for the comment. :)

  • Bodybuilding Diets Aug 2, 2011

    True true. I completely agree with this. Good writers are the ones who have been able to pour out their heart and soul into their writing.

  • you’ve got to be writing with your heart and soul to be able to deliver a good article which can reach your readers.

    – Jack Leak

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