Robert Macfarlane

How being less afraid has made me a better writer

I want to write about my year of being less afraid and how it has helped me become a better writer, but it is hard to write about fear. It is hard because fear is so close to the bone. When you start writing about fear you also run the risk of sounding like a self-help book. But I suppose that is a line all writers have to tread. The best writing is not just written, but felt, and that brings with it the possibility of clich├ęs.Read More »How being less afraid has made me a better writer

Courage

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“You get knocked down, you get up again. I also think writers must have great courage, the courage to trust your own life and your own voice.”

— Ashley Pharoah

I have that quote on a postcard tacked to the wall next to my desk. I look at it from time to time and I find it reassuring because often when I’m writing I find myself hedging about and avoiding expressing my opinion. It is hard to put your opinion out there, because you risk having someone come along and point out all the flaws in your argument. The postcard reminds me to do it nonetheless. It reminds me to trust in what I have to say. It also reminds me that having a dialogue with others is what writing is all about, that words on a page that go unread and unchallanged may as well have never been written at all. Afterall, you get knocked down, you get up again.Read More »Courage