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Saturday, October 15, 2011

“The things that make you a functional citizen in society - manners, discretion, cordiality - don't necessarily make you a good writer. Writing needs raw truth, wants your suffering and darkness on the table, revels in a cutting mind that takes no prisoners...” ― Natalie Goldberg

This is one if the reasons for writing with the door closed, for needing a safe place to write. You need to be free to explore the dark places without the fear that your mother will peer over your shoulder and shake her head at you. “I thought I taught you better than that. Why can’t you write something nice?”

Even Disney movies and fairy tales have their dark side. What good is the light unless it is in contrast to the dark? Just because you don’t write the literary equivalent of cotton candy doesn’t mean you can’t write a Happily Ever After. Just put your characters through hell before they get there. Let them be real people with real faults and fears, facing the consequences of bad choices and surviving—and thriving—anyway.

“The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.” ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

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