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For some people, mostly writers, writing is a pain!

For others, pain is an inspiration, something to be fed on in order to write:

You must dive into the depths of your being and throw out everything but your pain, and then set to work on all those raw nerve cells, asking each one if it likes its pain, and what is its pain, and what would it like to do with its pain, and then you imbibe all that pain and you revel in that pain and you let that pain burn into your consciousness until the only thing you know is pain, and then you begin to write that pain, letting that pain be jetted from you like a white hot flame, and you let that pain sear the page so that others can feel your pain.

Pain brings with it a kind of disturbance, a suffering that shakes you to the very soul. You face fickleness and mortality, feel their breath upon you. It makes you ask questions, it makes you angry, guilty, frustrated.

You start expressing yourself in your writing, sharing the anger and helplessness at your suffering.

This can reduce your writing to the level of personal melodrama and self-pity, but the challenge is to rise above it.

Writing about personal suffering (be it physical and emotional) finds an audience not because a majority of people are happy to see someone else’s pain, but because the author has been able to portray it in such a way that it evokes universal empathy.

Not only does the reader feel an empathy, he or she sometimes also finds a glimpse of Truth, an insight into life as it is lived.It is for this insight that a reader ultimately remembers a book, an essay, or a poem that was infused with pain.

Sometimes the measure of one’s existence is the extent and intensity of pain one has suffered. It often becomes the measure of a writer.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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