Writing and fear…

Word count: 250 words

Reading time: 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Today’s article comes from Sarah Jio.

I don’t read murder mysteries and I dislike horror movies. When it comes right down to it, I hate being scared! The clench of dread at the base of my stomach is a feeling I abhor, not one I welcome. (In fact, when a friend who feels much the same way I do, recommended the novel The Lovely Bones, I tried only because she shared my feelings. She raced through the novel. I had to stop at page 28.)

Given my history, you might think an essay headlined Writing and Fear wouldn’t  hold much appeal for me.  But I like the way the writer, Sarah Jio (pictured above) relates a deeply frightening incident that occurred in her own life and describes how it has shaped her writing.

“The dark shadow had passed, she writes, “but the experience remained tattooed in my memory. Now, more than 20 years later, I go back to that night often and try to tease out details I overlooked, like the fear in my dad’s eyes or the way the furniture cast big jagged shadows on the walls.”

Her story appears in the June 10/13 issue of the New York Times Opinionator column. Read it to learn more about how to mine your own real-life experiences for your writing.