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Food For Thought Friday – 4/19/13

April 19, 2013

“Writing isn’t easy because you have to relive the most painful moments of your life, over and over again, and then you have to write them down, hoping that they’ll matter to someone else other than yourself.”

Christian Mihai


It’s a lonely process at times, spending your days writing. It’s mentally straining. It makes you question yourself and the world around you.

I heard the idea that if you enjoy yourself while you’re writing, you’re not producing good writing. But like John Steinbeck, I disagreed with this idea. Steinbeck forced himself to enjoy himself and write characters who, yes were screwed up and complex, but who offered hope.

This is tough, cause to write good stories, you have to have a strong element of darkness and despair. One of my favorite creative writing professors I had in school, Val Pexton, said that writing about messed up people or situations is the only way to write something interesting. For the most part, I agree with this too. Characters have to change throughout the story and that can’t happen without adversity.

I think all writers need to take a page out of Steinbeck’s book though (no pun intended). I think the writer’s job in telling stories is to give people hope in some of the lowest points of life. But, that means you have to get inside the heads of people that get themselves into those lowest points. You have to live and relive and revise and pour over these characters and these moments and situations and not let them defeat you as the writer.

Because if the writer is defeated, the story is defeated.

Sadness is an opportunity for the hope of something better.

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