Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

On Memoir: When Angst Is A Prompt

If the title of this re-blog doesn’t pull you in, perhaps this statement from the author will:

“When you write, you have the constant option to be dangerous. When you and your pen walk right up to the edge of a cliff and glare over, you always risk an inevitable drop.”

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

By Laura Vrcek

Laura Vrcek Laura Vrcek

I recently read an essay by Tom Spanbauer titled “Dangerous Writing” in the January/February 2016 issue of Poets & Writers. In it, he mentions that occasionally a beginning writer will submit a horror story or screenplay in his Dangerous Writing Workshop. The misunderstanding is honest at best but what Spanbauer wants is considerably scarier. He writes, “To write dangerous is to go to parts of ourselves that we know exist but try to ignore…” The kind of writing that challenges the personas we publish on social media and defend when they’re wrong.

It was timely when I read it, just after AWP’s 2016 conference in Los Angeles. My goal this go around was to find enough panels to attend so that I could sponge and then justify writing about my mother’s bipolar disorder despite the fact that it makes her unhappy. On a panel…

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5 responses to “On Memoir: When Angst Is A Prompt

  1. Jane Watson January 17, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Such a great post about ‘dangerous’ writing. I love the quote about the cliff’s edge. I have been struggling a lot lately about this kind of challenge in my writing. I hope others will take the link to Laura Vrcek’s full post on Brevity.


  2. dgkaye January 23, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    I’d read this before and I can identify as a memoir writer. Great quote. :)


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