Climbing into the Basement

Well, I’ve set a goal to blog more. Problem with me and blogging is that I think too much about it, I think (there I go again!) I analyze what I should include rather than just being honest like I am in my writing. Today, I’ll not analyze and critique and wonder how the post will be taken. Today, I’ll just be…honest. For better or worse.

I recall reading a book entitled, THE COURAGE TO WRITE, several years ago. It was recommended to me as part of a writers group run by Anita Riggio. It’s a terrific book to read if you want to write but hesitate for any reason. If you deal with pesky voices asking you who you think you are to attempt such a thing. I feel like I could use a little of that courage today. If I were feeling brave today, I would not be blogging. I would be writing.

I have been working on a novel that I think is pretty decent. It is completed, my agent thinks it’s powerful, and I am now working on revisions. I did some work on it yesterday–mostly notes. You know the rule–if it’s hard to write, it’s probably pretty darn good! By that standard, it must be…well…really, really good.

I remember talking to author, Nancy Werlin, a few years back about going into your own basement. She had said that if you wanted to write authentically, that you needed to crawl into your own cellar. Touch the things that hurt most, the things that make you vulnerable. I’ve been doing that. It hurts but feels good at the same time. I guess this is why writing can be considered so masochistic sometimes!

Weird things is, that plot-wise, this story resembles so little of my life. But there is a thin thread of me that runs through it. The emotional thread. By climbing into that basement. Touching those hurts. I help my character with his pain.

And he helps me with mine.

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Categories: courage, writing | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Climbing into the Basement

  1. I think that's a good idea about going into your own basement. I've never thought of that before. I'm not a writer besides my blog. I do think it would be good for inspiration though. I hope everything with your novel goes well. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for your comment, "Green Mom"! I think honesty is the way to go in life. Certainly when it comes to the arts! If a painting or writing or music doesn't get you in the gut (both happy and sad) it loses power, I think. Doesn't stay with you…

  3. Climbing down into the basement can be a hard thing, but a necessary thing when you're writing. It's the best way to get to the heart of your pain, your emotions, your story. Good for you, Lynda! I look forward to reading your next story.

  4. Thanks, Laurie! You know all about writing a powerful story! It's tough, huh? Thanks for posting!

  5. Thanks for the reminder, Lynda. Even a fantasy writer needs to explore those dark emotions lurking in the basement in order to breathe life into a story. An important lesson for us all!

  6. Thanks for the comment, Mary! You are right! I think that emotion is one of the things that makes you care about the character–whether it be contemporary or fantasy.

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