Please welcome Jillian Jenkins. She’s a fellow Astraea Press author, and has a very interesting guest blog today!
The Hard Places
The first rule of writing I’ve always been given is “write what you know”. It’s a pretty basic rule, but intimidating for me since every time I think about writing what I know, I think about how I don’t know all too much to begin with. I’m not the deep experienced traveler, for example. Then again, I know nothing about what it’s like to be a witch, a dragon, or an alien, and I write about those all the time.
Some how, I got over my fear of “not knowing enough”, and realized that writers are supposed to share their knowledge on life. And while I still am not sure I know “a lot” of things, I’ve grown more comfortable with sharing what I do know about being a human with emotions. Then my novel asked me to write a “hard place”.
A hard place is a topic, or area, that hits so close to home as an author, you’re not sure you want to write about it. Because if you write about it, then people will know just how vulnerable and weak you are. These topics are always so powerful that the author puts so much more into them than they do anything else they’ve ever worked on. Tears are often involved. It’s a big, dramatic, emotional, place to be. And scary.
Each author has a different kind of hard place. Mine came in the form of spirituality. My latest release, “Legend of the Great Dragon”, took me to a whole new emotional level. The timing was all kinds of interesting, because a lot of what the main character was feeling were things I was feeling. Or perhaps I was projecting myself into the character? It’s hard to be certain, because I was writing in that hard place. Sometimes, while writing, authors get so absorbed in their work that they become one with the story.
The topic: Is there a God and why should I believe in one? Regardless of your opinion on this topic, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that you’ll at least understand why this could get angsty. I won’t share my conclusions in this post. If you’re curious, you’ll be able to find the answers in my writing. The point is, it was hard. There were lots of tears and lots of words added, deleted, and then added again. Hard questions were asked and then answered.
While going through this emotional journey of writing, I can’t say I learned everything about the universe. I’m certainly not an expert on my hard place. But the joy of the hard place is that the emotions that come out are raw. If the author is brave enough to face their fears and tackle it, they can share knowledge on a subject that can never be found in a research paper or online.
You can find more of Jillian following the links below:
Barnes and Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/c/j.f.-jenkins