“To write something you have to risk making a fool of yourself” —Anne Rice

OK now we are talking!  Please look at the last post that I made and the comment my good friend left. The words I share, when I write, I’m sharing my emotions. That sounds obvious and simplistic. Still, I was recently reminded of how vulnerable we are when we share words as my son began a serious pursuit of writing for college/future career. He took a great writing class over the summer and the professor asked everyone what they wanted most out of the course and what they were most afraid of. Some of them gave lame answers like I want an A and I’m afraid I won’t get an A. My son’s response was that he feared he just “wasn’t any good at it”. Now that is scary ! What if you decide to put it all out there and then you aren’t that good at putting words together or worse your words are ignored? I think that’s where the emotions come and attempting to share all those emotions, that and persistence.

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

—Octavia E. Butler

“Writing is really a way of thinking — not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.”

—Toni Morrison

2 thoughts on ““To write something you have to risk making a fool of yourself” —Anne Rice

  1. I agree–vulnerability really is the key, I think. There’s something so fundamentally personal in writing that it can make us feel that flaws in technique or failures in execution are really flaws or failures in ourselves, often at the moments when we’re trying the hardest to share or reveal something incredibly important. People who can overcome their fears to share regardless are amazingly brave. Kudos to you and your son for putting yourselves out there! (Actually, knowing all four of you in your immediate family, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that you all have a strong sense of self and that all of you are writers of different kinds!)


    1. Thank you, I love the phrase writers of different kinds. I don’t know why I’ve only ever thought of writing in a limited way. When the kids were little I used to explain that Andy and I both had jobs about stories. He studied stories, and shared them. And I listened to other people’s stories and help them work on them. It’s the narrative really, and we are a narrative driven family all of us.


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