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Monday, October 10, 2011

“You must be able to step inside your character's skin and at the same time to remain outside the dicey circumstances you have maneuvered her into. I can't remember how many times I advised students to stop writing the sunny hours and write from where it hurts: "No one wants to read polite. It puts them to sleep."—Annie Bernays

Sometimes when I am feeling down or overwhelmed or hopeless, I think “Why bother writing? No one wants to read something depressing.” When I am feeling this way, I forget that writing is the way out. Writing can entertain me, but more importantly, writing can lift me up and give me perspective. All it takes is handing my worries and fears and frustrations over to a character, or even divide them up among several characters, and then taking a step back to ‘watch’ them work through it. It makes whatever I am dealing with seem more manageable and it releases (vicariously) many of the emotions I’ve tried to keep under control.

I say it so often, it has become my mantra: Writing is healing. Now if I can just remember that when I need it most.

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” ― Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

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