WRITING TIP: Treasure the ambiguity

freewritingWhile we might like to present ourselves as seamless beings with definite points of view, to be human is to be full of contradictions, paradoxes and ambiguities. We tend to want a thing and its opposite, which is why every gain is also a loss. Keep this in mind as you write, and if the emotional tone of your work feels neat and complete, look for the truth that underlies your one-sidedness, as novelist Hermann Hesse did in his work: “My story isn’t sweet and harmonious like invented stories,” Hesse wrote. “It tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.”