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  • Writer's pictureAnne Heffron


Updated: Jun 22

Brad Ewell is a wonderful writer and photographer. He and I are playing a game: for a week he will send me one of his photographs every day, and I will write a corresponding blog post. You can follow him on IG at

  1. Take a moment to consider the true fact that no one exactly like you has ever or will ever exist on the planet. You are the ONLY one who can tell your story. If you decide you can't share it, you are a can of beans who never made a meal of yourself. That means you're a can. It's not about what your mother or your neighbor will think about you if you write your story, not in the big picture. It's about whether Universe will high five you when you are on your deathbed for playing with it with your whole being instead of being some partially opened can that kicked itself into a corner.

  2. If you are in a writing group, instead of comparing your work to that of those around you, read the greats. Comparing yourself to your peers is creative suicide. You might as well just become them and write their work. You do you. The masters of writing can better help teach you craft. Learn from them. (This isn't to say your peers aren't the greats and that you can't learn from them. It's to say that they are too close to you right not and are probably interfering with your ability to tune into you. )

  3. Don't be polite or good when putting down your core message. The reason you want to write, perhaps, is that you don't have the sense of being heard. You still won't feel heard if you hand in a diluted version of what you really believe.

  4. Get very quiet inside and listen only to your voice. If you write like an orchestra, listening and responding to the voices of your teachers and parents and friends and whomever else, you'll be writing like a tornado, not a pen. You'll be all over the place, and you'll waste a lot of time trying to get back on the path of your story. If being all over the place is your story, there is still a traceable line that got you from being born to being here, and that line is the path your feet walked. Live between your own ears, not between the ears of others. Write from you.

  5. Look to nature to show you how you feel and write about that. This photograph was very recently taken by Brad thirty minutes before his adoptive mother died. At the time he was looking at the sky and photographing it, he did not know what this same sky would be telling him an hour later when he looked at the picture again as a man who had lost a second mother. He doesn't have to know how he feels. He can write what he sees when he looks at the sky and begin to access his story and his own mind that way.

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