Saturday, February 28, 2009

For the Fiction Writer, the Depth of Our Humanness Is Fertile Material for Our Writing

For the Fiction Writer, the Depth of Our Humanness Is Fertile Material for Our Writing
Darkside has nothing to do with evil or morality.
It has nothing to do with ethics or lack thereof. Darkside is a label attached to psychological material that lies in the shadows of consciousness and even deeper, buried in the unconscious. Your darkside material holds some of the most fertile ground for your writing.

When you deny your darkside, you might well be denying the best parts of you.

You can call the darkside by a variety of names, including shadow material or disowned material, which means those parts of self that the Inner Critic, deeming them unsuitable for the face that you show to the world, has shunted off into the shadows. In so doing, the Inner Critic has forced you to “disown what could be the truest part of you. For your disowned, shadow or dark side holds some of the most vital parts of what makes you you. In this light, then, you might call your darkside or shadow material your True Self.

This True Self holds a lot of your instinctive, primal material.
It is the part of you that Clarissa Estes says has been “starched out. It is the part of you that knows your creativity is the most passionate part of yourself.It is the part of you that knows how to get down and dirty, the part that has no interest in merely surviving but instead wants you to flourish like a rose bush flowering with mad abandon. It is the part of you that isn’t afraid to claim your body and the passions that lie within.
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  1. In other words, it's the part of you that you wouldn't necessarily want your mother to read. :)

    Seriously, though, your point here is well taken. After years of writing in girded, self-censoring ways that were all about what my parents, sibs, kids, co-workers, would think, I finally let loose with a novel that I'd never show to any of them - and which felt like my own writing, for the first time ever. The dark-side aspect is so strong that I'll have to use a pen-name if the thing ever actually gets published (not much danger of that so far), but I feel better about it than anything else I've written. (it's posted here, if you're interested: )

    Let loose in that place. Do it!

  2. I loved this post. The darkside is where so many of us are afraid to go. This is due to the social norms and belief systems all around us. However, to your point, its the part of us that is primal - human. It makes for great writing.

  3. I like the way you connect writing to the subconcious. From experience, I can also say that writing is bringing forth strong memories that you haven't shared with anybody.


Your writing and sharing supports all of us!