Dear Person Who Cried At Writer’s Meeting,

Dear Person Who Cried At Writer’s Meeting,

When you spoke about your manuscript, and your past, and your rage, you could hear a pin drop in the room.

We didn’t know whether to hug you or to look away.

We tried to contain our responses to writing advice, not living advice.  And yet.  I know I wanted to tell you to rest, and to meditate, and surround yourself with people who will not hurt you. (And to always carry Kleenex. What can I say?  I’m a mom. I’m practical.)

Thank you for reminding us all that only the white-hot and fiery can truly fuel the work we do. We all need to tap into our fears, our angers, our passionate obsessions to write whatever we write.

There is no 12-step program for writing. There is just, like everything else, the practice of coming back.


The Moderator


  1. Another lovely post. I’d like to share a related anecdote. My brother, ac recovering alcoholic/heroin addict, once came to a writing workshop at the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group—Regina McBride, an author from NYC, was teaching, and since she’s a friend of my sister’s, we had several family members attend. He said, “This is just like AA only you don’t need to be an addict to attend. I didn’t know supportive groups like this existed out in the real world.” With that perspective I felt even luckier to be surrounded by the keen creative minds and supportive individuals, like you Kelly, that I’ve come to know over the years.

  2. Kathryn,
    I have a suspicion the nonprofit building we met in is also home to some recovery groups, and hence, some overlap. It’s always good to have someone just starting out though — because who needs advice more, right? And it IS like AA, some of the time.
    I can only hope we could be that helpful!

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