Making Peace with Your Ghosts

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Photo credit: liquidcrash via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

When writers talk about where their ideas come from, the answers are as varied as wildflowers: they write about what keeps them up at night, or they ask “what if?” or they explore topics that leave them full of questions without answers.

In the case of Erin Rose Belair, she writes about the ghosts she’s made peace with. She describes this feeling in her essay for Glimmer Train:

I used to think stories had to come from some higher order, some grand tale. But I only started writing stories when I learned how to make peace with those ghosts, when I learned how to listen to what I was already telling myself.

Read Belair’s full essay, and also take a look at these other features this month at Glimmer Train:

When writers talk about where their ideas come from, the answers are as varied as wildflowers: they write about what keeps them up at night, or they ask “what if?” or they explore topics that leave them full of questions without answers.

Posted in Creativity + Inspiration.
Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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3 Comments on "Making Peace with Your Ghosts"

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Michael LaRocca

My writing has to come from the ideas that won’t leave me alone, the stuff that I must write simply because I can’t NOT write it. This is especially true in the case of a novel, where I’m going to spend at least a year living with the thing. If it’s easy to dismiss, I probably will, and my readers should probably be grateful.

Shux

Great post Jane, I agree with you Michael LaRocca about writing things that never leave you, i write about them too, it’s very powerful. The piece of work shines, it’s as if it’s happy to be out there and I was feel much better after it. Soul soothing!