Writers, Let Your Freak Flag Fly

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BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

N. West Moss N. West Moss

By N. West Moss

Writing requires bravery. I’ve heard this a thousand times, but what does it mean? When I was getting my MFA a few years ago, some classmates interpreted it to mean they should write about taboo subjects, like masturbation (sorry) and heroin addiction, that the brave part of writing was confessing one’s deepest shames and most private moments. As off-limits as the subjects might have been, I found the scenes of stuff like this oddly bloodless and uninteresting. To equate bravery with solipsism is a mistake that a lot of beginning writers make, myself included.

I think the courage that is required for being a writer is the courage to figure out who you are, and to pursue THAT without shame. It is our obsessions that make us unique – our obsessions with words and sounds, with themes, with people, with what we have…

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