"Dangerous writing," author Chelsea Cain citing Fight Club writer Chuck Palahnuik, is writing "whatever makes you feel uncomfortable, getting to the point where you, as a writer, sitting at your keyboard, can feel your cheeks grow hot, you get a little nervous and giggle to yourself and think, 'I should should cut that, I shouldn't write that.' That's dangerous writing."
In her article for Mslexia magazine (Mslexia.co.uk), Cain is looking at horror and crime fiction, but the same could be said for non-fiction. On the face of it, this shouldn't be dangerous writing, however, the "I shouldn't write that" is certainly getting in my way, and it's not thrilling in the way that Cain and Palahnuik obviously find it. Because it's about who is going to be hurt by this in a deep and personal way? Have I the right to stick to my truth even as it diverges hugely from other people's?
And even as I chew over these questions again and again, nothing is going down on paper.
What is happening, which I am pleased about, is that I am collating the writing I did over the residency and am finding that I am still moved by it. A good sign that perhaps others will be drawn emotionally to it.