Thursday, 4 July 2013

Write what haunts you

       Photo of rocks in ocean mist by Roger Hyland

I just read an interesting post by Melissa R. Sipin called Write What Haunts You on Glimmer Train which really resonated with me. We are often told that passion for our subjects should shine through the writing, which I agree with, although this can often be hard to sustain.  Everyone has ups and downs with writing, days when you feel like giving up, or that you have no more to say, or are simply burnt out.  

But writing what haunts you - that is wonderful advice. I'm not talking about the supernatural here (although it can encompass this) but thoughts and ideas that compel us, that revisit us time and again; issues that preoccupy us; problems to solve, that won't leave us until we have worked through them.  Whether this finds release and voice in a diary or fiction doesn't matter.  We have pictures and images in our head that remain fixed - happy or sad - or precious moments and memories that we hold and will never forget. These "ghosts" can transform our work and lend it authenticity.

Most writers discover, sometimes over a period of time, that there are themes that they continue to revisit, characters they want to return to; or simply obsessions that embed themselves into the work, unbidden but persistent threads, that are so much a part of us that they will not be silent. 

What haunts us can be deeply personal, not to be discussed with another living soul, but which can find a safe haven through the words we write.

In my own work, journeys continue to haunt me and find expression. What haunts you, and can you use it to enrich your writing?


  1. Great post honey, i totally agree, and its why im still struggling with a novel i wrote in 2010! lol


    1. Thanks, Vikki. Glad you enjoyed! It's an interesting topic which I will probably return to.