Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Writerly Advice: On Frontline Writer Warriors and Maintaining "Distance"

Dear Kirsten: As difficult as it may be, you must maintain a distance from the
subject matter. As an objective observer, you can discern without becoming too
overcome by the material. If you are becoming too oversensitized to gruesome, or
whatever material, you need to talk with a professional; either clergy or a
medical doctor.
It is possible that Mike could discuss this issue, as a journalist he would have
been able to learn how to report crime scenes, etc., objectively. However, it is
not always possible to be objective, as you know from direct experience.
It would help not to let events and other things effect the psyche and the
emotions in this negative way.
Perhaps it is a hazard of the writer and the sensitivities of the writer/artist
that creates these burdens.
Like any occupational hazard you must try to put emotionally charged or negative
topics into perspective. If this does not work try talk with a professional.
There are a lot of 1800 numbers, and free advise from professionals.
Either way, you should not let anything effect you to the point of harming you
emotionally, life is too short to make more negative from negative. A --- In

"Kristen" > Hi all..
> I've been doing a bit of research for my novel, and some of the stuff I'm
digging into is pretty disturbing. Basically, I feel like I need to have a
clear understanding of how and why people can come to have particularly
offensive views and do disgusting things based on those views, and I'm getting
some good material, but I'm having a hard time staying unbiased because I'm
getting so angry and upset about some of the stuff I'm reading.
> Has anyone else had an experience where the things they were learning for
their fiction were really starting to have an effect on them? What did you do
to find the balance between learning what you needed to learn without letting it
affect your mood and outlook too much?
> Thank you.

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