My eldest goddaughter calls me a “method writer.” By this she means that I experience everything as I write about it and materialize in real-life whatever I author on page. As is often the case, she is absolutely right.
I’ve been thinking about this because I spent the first half of this day writing a scene I’ve desperately avoided writing for two years. It’s about all the stuff I don’t like to think about, let alone read about. And yet the scene demanded to be written.
At heart my book is about post-traumatic growth–the magic that’s conferred when we rise from our own ashes– and you can’t write about such an ascent without first describing the fire.
After I sent in the day’s work I spent an hour curled up in a ball. I was worrying about the impact of these pages on my reader and overwhelmed by the sadness and rage and fear I’d had to unleash. I do not know how to write about pain without experiencing it anew.
For me the the worst thing about writing isn’t the writer’s block (I rarely have it) nor the poverty (though it’s becoming devastating) but that crazy, out-of-control feeling of diving into the biggest and hardest places without someone or something to pull me back out. There I sat in the late afternoon sunlight crying like a Child who had never been rescued. Continue Reading →