I’ve noticed it’s become common internet parlance to talk about the “feels.” In book blogs, usage is something like this: “this book gave me all of the feels,” or “XYZ_author got me right in the feels.”
Sigh. I get it. It’s easier to say “the feels” than to try to put into words how a book makes you feel.
However, it’s also lazy and not all the descriptive. Harsh, I know. Don’t worry though, I’m here to help. You’re welcome.
Because bloggers love lists, I present you with – 5 Ways to Write about Your Feelings, with help from Cheryl Strayed and Tiny Beautiful Things.
1. On the feeling of someone (close to you) calling your bluff and making you realize something about yourself:
I remember that moment precisely – where he was sitting in relation to where I was sitting, the expression on his face when he spoke, the coat I was wearing – because when he said what he said it felt like he’d scooped a hunk of my insides out and showing it to me in the palm of his hand. It wasn’t a good feeling.
A scoop out of your insides, eh? How’s that for your feels?!
2. On unrequited love, and what it does to you:
Then you’d sob and sob and sob so hard you couldn’t stand up until finally you’d go quiet and your head would weigh seven hundred pounds and you’d lift it from your hands and rise to walk into the bathroom to look at yourself solemnly in the mirror and you’d know for sure that you were dead. Living but dead. And all because this person didn’t love you anymore, or even if he/she loved you he/she didn’t want you and what kind of life was that? It was no life. There would be no life anymore. There would only be one unbearable minute after another and during each of those minutes this person you wanted would not want you and so you would being to cry again and you’d watch yourself cry pathetically in the mirror until you couldn’t cry anymore, so you’d stop.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever played out this scenario once or hundred times. Anyone? Anyone?
3. On love in all it’s forms, and possibly the greatest advice ever given:
Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard. It can be light as the hug we give a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children. It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor, and loaded with promises and commitments that we may or may not want to keep. The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of love.
Tackle the motherfucking shit out of love? I know that would be a totally inappropriate line to work into wedding vows, but…
4. On experiencing something incredibly painful and debilitating:
Nobody can intervene and make that right and nobody will. Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.
Build your own bridge, because no one is going to do it for you. Sugar tells it like it is…and like you feel.
5. On feeling accomplished after completing something extremely difficult.
Do you know what that is, sweet pea? To be humble? The word comes from the Latin words humilis and humus. To be down low. To be of the earth. To be on the ground. That’s where I went when I wrote the last word of my first book. Straight onto the cool tile floor to weep. I sobbed and I wailed and I laughed through my tears. I didn’t get up half an hour. I was too happy and grateful to stand. I had turned thirty-five a few weeks before. I was two months pregnant with my first child. I didn’t know if people would think my book was good or bad or horrible or beautiful and I didn’t care. I only knew I no longer had to hearts beating in my chest. I’d pulled one out with my own bare hands. I’d suffered. I’d given it everything I had.
Pulled a beating heart out of her own chest? Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
How do you feel now, yo?