Do you feel safe enough to write the truth?
I am rereading The Writer as an Artist an old book by Pat Schneider which she has revised is now available as Writing Alone and With Others. I tend to reread this whenever I'm about to start on a new project because Schneider knows what writers are afraid of and says it's okay and encourages us to write anyone. She gave me current mantra.
"You can write as powerfully as you talk. If you are safe enough."
I love that. It rings quite true for me. For years my writing was okay but not really going places and I know it was because I wasn't digging deep enough to write about the stuff that scares me. I couldn't because I didn't feel safe. It's only now, in a wonderful marriage with the best supportive partner I could hope for that I feel safe enough to visit the dark corners of my mind and write what is real, what hurts. Schneider says that if you can talk, any sense you have of not being able to write is a learned disability, scar tissue that "is a result of accumulated unhelpful responses to your writing."
She also says that, "For the writer, fear arises in exact proportion to the treasure that lies beneath the dragon's feet."
So we need to write toward that fear, past, through, over, kicking and screaming if need be but we need to face the fear, claim it, make it ours so it will reveal the treasure that is our writing, the stories we were meant to tell.
The last novel I finished was my most real yet. The raw kind of real that still makes my stomach lurch when I reread certain scenes and still makes me cry at the end. Now I'm gearing up to do it again. I'm glad I feel safe enough to try and write my truth.
Write on, right now.