This week, I read The Fault in Our Stars, which had been sitting in my stack for nearly a year and a half. I put off reading the book because I was avoiding sadness. I’d heard an NPR interview with the author, John Green, and read an article about him in The New Yorker, but I kept starting other books instead. Part of it might have been a wrenching experience with a different novel. Part of it might have been my earlier experiences working with terminally ill kids at a hospital. Or maybe having been widowed. Or maybe just being a chicken shit. Whatever the reason, now, it was time.
By the end of the first page, I was hooked. I knew it was going to be a hard story–but the voice, the characters, the writing–the way he handled exposition! Setting all that aside, the humanity. It was simultaneously a lesson in craft and a lesson in being human–joys, flaws, foibles, death. As read the last few chapters, tears streaming down my face, I realized it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared.
Over at A Writer’s Alchemy, Bethany Reid has posted about how we write to feel. If I’m avoiding feeling, that’s a hazard–my biggest creativity block and my biggest personal block. Or maybe that’s why I write poetry–to let down that guard one poem at a time.
How does feeling help your writing. Or, like me, do you tend to run from it?
Finally, Happy Friday, and as I remember from those interviews, DFTBA!
(Don’t forget to be awesome)