Saturday, February 12, 2011

Question: Can Our Writing Be Too Dark?

The Women's Writing Circle met this morning and as always the writing was a revelation.  Two writers tackled our prompt "Mother's Emotional Agenda."  The honesty and self-knowledge displayed in the writing were impressive. 

For my part, I was unable to complete my own "assignment." Working on an essay about my mother ended up being harder than I anticipated.  I had written about her, but little about me and my feelings. In doing so,  I had violated a cardinal rule -- Don't just stand back and observe.  Put yourself in the writing!  So for me, it's back to the drawing boards on the essay about my mother.

Interestingly, after one of the readings about a mother's emotional agenda, the question emerged: Can our writing be too dark?

Can it be too harsh, too negative, not "positive enough" when it comes to someone or some situation?  And if it is, do we run the risk of alienating or making the reader feel "uncomfortable?" 

Are we uncomfortable in making others uncomfortable?

I think we grapple with this since most of us wonder what happens the day we show our work to family or a larger audience.   It is always good to get the feedback of other writers on these things.  Can our writing be too "dark"?  Your thoughts, comments?

All the best,

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