Monday, May 23, 2011

"You've got to read this book, it changed my life..." Elizabeth Austen & Sheila Bender on writing...





Elizabeth Austen (author of Every Dress a Decision)  has a great post on her blog by Guest Blogger Sheila Bender author of A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief.


Here are some wise words from the post--



(Elizabeth) asked Sheila Bender to tell us how she sees the difference between writing that is personal vs. writing that is private.  Where and how do we draw the line?
Here’s what Sheila had to say:
I believe the more deeply we write from the experiences of our lives, the more universal and significant our writing is to others. This significance, however, comes only if, as writers, we find fresh insight through our words’ journeys, insight we realize only after following our words to wisdom we would not have if we hadn’t shaped our experience in reflection.
But how do we do that using personal writing without making readers uncomfortable in their voyeuristic role?  By making sure we are pursuing a question that will become the reader’s question, too, so the reader is not an observer and judge of the writer’s life, but actually on a quest along with the writer.
As my colleague Jack Heffron recounted, “You have probably never heard a person say, ‘You’ve got to read this book; it changed the author’s life.’ Instead you’ve heard, ‘you’ve got to read this book; it changed my life.’” 

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