Much of my writing for this newsletter has been coining new terms to describe the writing I do and the writing I admire. On my way to the dentist yesterday, another one came to me: concave writing.
Concave writing is writing that both goes deep and makes room for the reader to stand in that depth, kind of like a crescent. A crescent is also a helpful way to think about this kind of writing because, as you can see, there's this sliver that you keep to yourself. A reminder that not all of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions have to be offered up for public consumption.
Concave writing is writing that does not judge. When you refrain from judging others, it allows you to be more vulnerable in your writing in hopes that your readers will show you the same grace.
Concave writing is also intentional writing. The crescent is a very specific shape. You are inviting your readers into a controlled space, into curated emotions. Because your readers are not the pages of your diary. You do not want to overwhelm them in the chaos that exists inside us all (well, most of us...).
When you present your emotions, thoughts and experiences in a controlled way and exhibit vulnerability and honesty, you create a safe space for readers to use your words as a lens to sort through their own emotions, thoughts and experiences.
Like most of the writing advice I give, concave writing is second draft... third draft... fourth draft writing. It's an element of writing you cultivate through revision, through thinking about your reader and what you want them to take away from your work.
I've been slowly reading my way through Kink. I'm finding I enjoy stories that are 30% literary and 70% erotica. There's a new lit mag dedicated to contemporary erotica. And they're looking for submissions – wink, wink.
I have an essay out with catapult.com on Monday about what it takes to become a writer. I hope you'll check it out <3