There’s a side of each rock, creature, story, that doesn’t get exposed–to the sun, to the outside eye. Call it the underbelly, the hidden truth.

Write toward it.

Loosen your pen so something can lead other than clear-eyed intention or fear. Discover what you know in the act of writing. Thinking about writing is so entirely different from writing itself, as thinking about dancing or running must be. Writing is kinetic. Taps deep roots in its physical trajectory.

Get the pen moving, the fingers on the keys. See what’s below what you are thinking, knowing, assuming, concluding. Find the underbelly.

Physicist Niels Bohr said, “The opposite of a great truth is also true.” Dig below what you hold dear, what you hold certain. Give your characters strong and powerful occasions for doubt. Write toward the answers you do not yet have in hand but which you need. Probe to the soft, vulnerable core of what you don’t know, there at the heart of your vivid world.


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