Creative Writing Podcasts | Dorothea Brande

Podcast Excerpt: The truth is that we all have a tendency to remember things which we saw under the clear, warm light of childhood, and to return to them whenever we wish to bring a scene to life. But if we continue to use the same episodes and items over and over we lose effectiveness.

It is perfectly possible to strip yourself of your preoccupations, to refuse to allow yourself to go about wrapped in a cloak of oblivion day and night — although it is more difficult than one might think to learn to turn one’s attention outward again after years of immersion in one’s own problems.

Merely deciding that you will not be oblivious is hardly enough, although every writer should take the recommendation of Henry James, and register it like a vow. That is, “Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost.”

In order to arrive at that desirable state, set yourself a short period each day when you will, by taking thought, recapture a childlike “innocence of eye.” For half an hour each day, transport yourself back to the state of wide-eyed interest that was yours at the age of five.

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