Facing Our Fears as Writers

iStock_000010261391XSmallby Mike O’Mary

Here’s a great quote on writing for you: “When you write about something more important than your fears, the story will come.”

That’s an excerpt from a recent post by John Rember about writing memoir, but it applies to all types of writing. Rember goes on to say, “Writers often face what looks like a bleak choice: either resurrect unpleasant memory, or focus on happier times and risk writing stories that are superficial and contrived and short on meaning. In a memoir, it’s hard to hit the depth of emotion and wisdom you want to convey without including seminal events. Some of those seminal events are going to be dark and disturbing or full of shame and embarrassment. It won’t always come easily or happily, but once it’s on the page, it will have the capacity to deepen the experience of your reader. So…deal with it. And the way you deal with it is scene by scene, story by story, until you’ve got it finished on the page. Finish it well enough, and it can’t hurt you anymore.”

For the entire post on writing memoir, click here. And when you have written something that isn’t “superficial and contrived and short on meaning,” please submit it to Dream of Things.

Dream of Things was founded in 2009 with the intent of publishing anthologies of creative nonfiction that will fill the gap between popular anthologies that publish stories that are “short and sweet” (sometimes so saccharine-sweet they are hard to swallow), and the Best American Essays series, which are typically quite a bit longer. The goal for Dream of Things anthologies is to publish writing that is not short and sweet, but short and deep. With depth comes authenticity. The result is stories that are easier to swallow because they are authentic, and easier to digest because they average 1,250 words in length. Dream of Things is currently seeking submissions for anthologies of creative nonfiction on a variety of themes, including stories of forgiveness, coffee shop stories, travel writing, life in the modern workplace, Internet dating, and others. See the Workshop section of dreamofthings.com for more details, including payment information and submission guidelines.

Mike O’Mary is founder of Dream of Things, a book publisher and online retailer.