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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Keeping 'writer's blockages' at bay

“Many times, what people call 'writer's block' is the confusion that happens when a writer has a great idea, but their writing skill is not up to the task of putting that idea down on paper. I think that learning the craft of writing is critical.”  Pearl Cleage

Cleage, who teaches drama at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, was born on this date in 1948, and while she is noted for her stage writing, she also has had a distinguished career as a novelist, short story writer, and essayist, particularly about feminism and topics at the intersection of sexism and racism.

Her plays, especially Blues for an Alabama Sky and A Song For Coretta, have earned her wide acclaim, and her novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day was a 1998 Oprah Book Club selection.  “…  I love being a writer,” she said.  “My imagination can take me places I may never see except in my mind's eye.” 
As for advice to new writers, she says after getting              
 the proper background training don’t hesitate to move forward with your ideas, regardless of what your built-in “censors” might think.

“One of the things that writers and creative artists generally have to deal with is the censors that we have in our heads, the voices that we have that say you better not tell that and don't tell that, and people will think you're not a good girl, and your grandmother's going to be mad at you and all of those things.”

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