A few days ago I recommended Barbara Abercrombie’s Year of Writing Dangerously as a source of inspiration for aspiring and/or struggle writers. Just realized I never got to the “writing is dangerous” part.
Writing can be exhilarating, challenging, and terrifying but dangerous? Yes.
Writing is dangerous work because it always requires us to work with the pleasantness and unpleasantness of our lives. When we write memoir, we are writing about our lives. When we write non-fiction, we are writing about our lives. When we write fiction, we are writing about our lives.
Writing is dangerous work because it is done in isolation. Writing always requires a kind of seclusion. Willful seclusion makes us weird. This is not normal behavior.
Writing is dangerous because we borrow stories from the lives of people who love and trust us. Family and friends be warned. Story always comes first. Your names may be changed but your stories belong to us.
Writing is dangerous because it makes us neurotic and insecure. Okay, technically we start out neurotic and the writing just makes those insecurities manifest. Different paths, same result.
Writing is dangerous because it requires time and concentration. There is no shortcut. You cannot skip through or cheat. You have to spend the time in the seat or you are not writing. There is no escape.
Writing is dangerous because it introduces us to ourselves. We think we know who we are, what we believe. Then we write and realize we are liars and hypocrites.
Actually, looking back, I’m not sure how much of this is Abercrombie and how much is my projection onto Abercrombie. Your results may vary.
What do you think? Is writing dangerous? If so, how?