Writing is bleeding


“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

I came across this quote via Kristen Massola’s blog and as someone that loves quotes of all kinds; I was taken aback by this one. That is,  whenever I come across a particularly potent quote, I read it a few times over, digest it, read it a few more times and then I feel compelled to tell everyone about it and then write my own thoughts in reaction.

Hemingway’s quote is how I look at writing. Writing to me is most certainly an extension of who I am and the way in which I express myself. Some may not understand that or think, “Well, why can’t you just verbalize who you are?” And yeah, sure, sometimes I can, but never as well as I can through writing and that’s why I write.

And when I write, I want to leave it all out there. I have no intention, regardless of what type of writing I’m doing, but especially non-fiction writing, of holding anything back. Pun intended, I am an open book when I write. There have been times when after writing a piece, I’ve had to physically, mentally and emotionally wind down because it took so much out of me. But that’s what I love about writing; I crave that feeling of having given it your all.

Additionally, beyond just being transparent, I think the quote speaks to getting at your inner self. Only through bleeding everything right there onto the typewriter can you see who you are as a writer, a person and a member of society. To me, that’s how writing should be – an internal journey of discovery.

Yep, I just read the quote three more times in the course of writing this. It’s that poignant to me. Well said, Mr. Hemingway.

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