Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Writing As the Cure

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

In his book, Unless It Moves the Human Heart, Roger Rosenblatt makes a thought-provoking statement: Writing is the cure for the disease of living.

The book is an exploration into the journey of a class Rosenblatt taught titled “Writing Everything” and these are among the words he spoke to his students.

He went on to say, “Doing it may sometimes feel like an escape from the world, but at its best moments it is an act of rescue.”

How true … 

Just recently, as I spoke with a fellow writer/author-person, we commiserated on how, with the ink dried on our literary contracts, we are often forced to work in spite of wanting to do nothing but crawl into the bed, draw the covers over our heads, and sleep the days away. 

“But,” I said, “In a way, when I am writing fiction, I get to live out someone else’s life. Their misery. Their joy. I cannot control the rudder of my own boat at times, but I am always in control of my characters’.” 

Yes, there is that thing … that moment when we are no longer living in our world but in another. The one we have created. The one we are forced to blink furiously from in order to reenter our own. 

Rosenblatt continues in his spiel to his class by adding, “Each of you has his own way of seeing into suffering and error. But you share the desire to save the world from its blights by going deeper into them until they lie exposed.”

Could this be more true?

Going deeper into them until they lie exposed … Think about that for a moment. I mean, really think. Grab your journal, write it down, and ponder over it with ink.

Who said, “Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed”? You’re right if you attribute the often mis-attributed quote to sports writer Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith. A sports writer? A sports writer gets this? Not Hemmingway … not Clemens … not Faulkner? Smith?

Maybe it was that homerun sailing into left field … But I digress. And I don’t want to digress. Because this is the heart of it, isn’t it. Truth is, we writers open up our own wounds and we dig deep and deep and deeper still until we find the truth buried somewhere under the core. We leave so much of ourselves on the pages, it’s no wonder we want to curl up and die when someone says they don’t like our work. 

Now listen to how Rosenblatt completed his talk: [When you write] you show up the imperfections of living for what they are. You hope to write them out of existence.

May we ever.


Eva Marie Everson is the multiple award-winning and bestselling author of over 35 books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and North Georgia Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy a lake view, their children, and grandchildren. They are owned by a very small dog.


  1. Well said Ms. Eva Marie. Our writing is quite often our "dealing mechanism" for life. My hope, at least, is that my sorrow can help someone else experience the joy that comes from God's transformation of our lives. God's blessings ma'am.

  2. Eva, you were a real carpenter this morning. You hit all of the nails on the head. Not an easy task, but great stuff. Thank you.

  3. I just try to listen to His voice ... and for it. Thank you!