When I started out on my own, I roomed with a girl friend who was critical of my sad places . I would listen to sad music (the Blues and torch songs), cry and write poetry a lot (oh, the angst of young men and women).
I was entranced with the Beatnik mistique, but alas, that era was passing. My friend said I shouldn’t do that—give into the sadness—and then she got religious with me as to why I shouldn't.
“Don’t tell me what I should think and feel!”
The conflict I had with my friend set up a rebellion within me; a rebellion against her preconceived ideas of what was right and appropriate for me.
Listening to sad music helped me feel the depths of emotion and sadness. It was an exercise, like drawing the black lines along the edges of my soul, that helped define me.
So I dressed in black and moved to San Francisco to find the remnants of the Beats.
Why bring this up? Because when I write, I go to those scary places and challenge some aspect of the dark outlines, drawing them out further to increase my area of light and confidence, my sense of self and who I am.
As writers, I think we need to push against those scary places within ourselves. Stretch and expand our writing to greater depths.
This month, on Saturday, August 18, Sherri Isaac will host me on her site, Psychological Sizzle, to talk about where this fierce resistance comes from and how I used it to write my first novel. I hope you join me over at Sherri’s place for further discussion about those dark edges.
Have you defined where the inspiration comes from for your stories?
Do you do anything unusual to bring out the writing juices for a new book?
As a reader, what unusual elements do you enjoy in books you read?