Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fear and Writing in KC

When I first lived alone, I was afraid. Of the dark, mostly. Or of what lived in it. As each night approached, fear made a pallet on the floor of my chest and slipped ice from its drink into my bloodstream. Every squeak or scratch, whether from tree branch or night owl, demanded that I fight or flee, but there was nothing to fight and nowhere to run.

Now I walk outside at 2:33 am to let the dog pee, disarmed and disturbed only by being awakened at such an hour. That may be progress.

I stumbled across the writing of Stephanie Klein the other day. I've been reading her blog archives for days, every spare minute. Believing she was put on this earth to write, she carries a notebook at all times, scribbles in journals, posts every day, or nearly so. Her writing is fearless, shocking even. She spares herself (and the reader) nothing. She worries. She frets and obsesses. But she writes every day.

She must have been right about being born for this because the publishing world flew paper airplanes through her transom, asking for her time and consideration, rather than the opposite, more usual order of things. Without a single query, without an agent, without a manuscript, she made a two book deal.

Stephanie started the blog after a painful divorce. In the beginning, she was afraid of lots of things: getting fat (again), spending the rest of her life alone, being too difficult (crazy, even). She did not hide under the covers. She used her keyboard to light a fire under her life, one big enough to keep the scary stuff away or at least circling at a pretty safe distance.

Four years later, she's married again, with twins more than a year old. Her fears are different now, but she's still facing them on the page and living the life she imagined as well as one she couldn't.

Like most people, Stephanie Klein is a lot of things. One of them is a writer. And a writer writes. Fearlessly.

check out Stephanie's books, Straight Up and Dirty and Moose.

1 comment:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

It takes one to know one!