WRITING TIP: Overthrow the taboos

Freewriting for your eyes only and keeping those writings hidden can be an important step toward developing the courage to speak dangerous things in public. It is the job of the writer to articulate what others are only vaguely thinking or feeling; to talk openly about those things others fear to say. As Anais Nin put it: “There is a great danger for the writer, perhaps the greatest one of all: his consciousness of the multiple taboos society has imposed on literature, and his inner censor.… It is surprising how well one writes if one thinks no one will read it. This honesty, this absence of posturing, is a most fecund source of material. The writer’s task is to overthrow the taboos rather than accept them.”