In Writing from the Body, John Lee talks about the things that hold people back from writing. Sometimes it’s the fear of disapproval of family. Lee talks about writing The Flying Boy, his memoir of growing up in a less-than-happy household. He wrote the book after telling his father that he would write it, but John was afraid that the book would set father and son apart for the rest of their lives.
Truthful writing, at the core of who we are and told with all the terror and error of our lives, is what we’re after in The Writer’s Workshop. You don’t need to be an accomplished writer to create true writing. You can do it with safety around you, a community that will support your courage and tell you what parts of that true story were memorable, vivid, alive and authentic.
Lee, who created Writing from the Body with Ceci Miller-Kritsberg, explains that the fear of offending parents determines the strength of our shadow selves:
The Child’s rationale is this: “If my own parents will leave me if I offend them, than anyone will leave. I don’t want to be alone, so I’ll pretend.” Until you face this fear, the Shadow will drive the truth out of your life and writing. You can’t write walking on eggshells. Writing from the body cannot take place in a stiff pose. In fear’s tense grip, creativity withers.
Surrounded by fellow writers who respond to your new writing at The Writer’s Workshop, you can relax your pose, walk wherever your heart leads you. That’s why we call it a place “to spark art from the heart.”