Monday, April 11, 2011

Finding darkness in beauty

We've had several warm, sunny days in Bristol lately. Not only has it been great to get outside, I think my writing, or at least my work ethic, has been better for it, too.

A few weeks ago I wrote about inspiration, finding beauty in art, music, and architecture, and how important it is to feed our souls. So when a writing friend sent me this video, of writers Holly Black (author of White Cat, which I loved), and Cassandra Clare talking about their writing retreat in Mexico, I totally got it.

But this quote from Clare really caught my attention: "I've gotten about half, maybe more of 'City of Lost Souls' done here... It's funny, because it's a really dark book. It's got a lot of darkness, a certain amount of existential angst, and meanwhile I'm writing in these extremely beautiful surroundings, surrounded by all these flowers!"

I had been struggling with Project Demo, my own dark book. Especially with life being a little crazy lately, it's been hard to keep going back to it, and to keep pushing deeper and farther into such despairing places.

But Clare's experiences mirror my own. While I'm not nearly lucky enough to be writing from a retreat in Mexico surrounded by flowers, even just getting some sunshine in plain old Bristol has been so welcome.

Those of you who follow this blog have heard me moan before about how dark my writing often becomes. But I feel I've uncovered a little secret from Black and Clare's experiences. If I take care of myself, and feed my soul, the writing (however dark) will follow.

*The photo is mine from Bristol's annual International Balloon Fiesta*


  1. Love the pic with all the those lovely balloons! :)

    I'm glad that you mentioned this because this is one of the reasons I shy away from dark writing (even though I love reading it). So I'll keep this in mind since my current novel project delves into some dark moments.

    I'm reading WHITE CAT now (based on your rec) and I LOVES it so far! I'll have to get RED GLOVE next.

  2. Thanks--I've got several balloon pics and they're so bright and fun! =)

    It might be obvious to others, but this really has been a revelation to me. So glad I could share it with you, too. Writing dark stuff can get really depressing! Good luck with your new wip.

    And thanks so much for letting me know you're enjoying WHITE CAT. YAY! I think the ending is the best part, so you should be in for even more of a treat! I've pre-ordered Red Glove, so am looking forward to it coming later this spring!


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