Write From The Wound

A thing writing teachers (including me) love to say is “Write from the scar, not the wound.”

It’s good advice – for more on why, listen to Joselin Linder talk about it on Gotham’s Inside Writing) – but as we move into month 111 of living through three global crises, I’ve been thinking about the value of writing from the wound.

Consider the work of James Baldwin. In essays and fiction, Baldwin chronicled the pain of racial injustice, the turmoil of desegregation, and the voices, violence, and victories of the Civil Rights movement. Sometimes he wrote about crisis as it was still unfolding; sometimes, he wrote about it a decade or more later, with hindsight.

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The Masks We Wear

We’ve been wearing masks all along. It’s just that now many of us are wearing obvious masks when we venture outside our homes.

It’s good that we wear those masks, whether nicely designed or hospital-functional. Sure, go out, contribute to the economy, but why not protect yourself and those around you from a frightening infection? (Okay, I guess we can argue about herd immunity or personal freedom, but that’s not my main point today.)

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