“I’ve written to transform pain, to save my mind from its incessant loopings, to save my life,” writes award-winning fiction author and memoirist Francesca Lia Block in her new book The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process.
“In this book, I’ll show you how to use your pain, or just daily stress, to feed your art; how to tune into the wisdom of that inner muse and mentor; ignore your critic until the time is right; create order from chaos; live simply but expressively; fructify; persevere; trust; face your shadow; find magic; create art for those you love rather than as a commodity for a larger, faceless, and judgmental audience; and maybe even change the world!” Block promises.
Block’s teaching strategy in The Thorn Necklace relies on her “Twelve Questions,” a process that the author developed over her three decades as a writer and teacher. These questions include “What is your character’s gift?” (Examples: Scout’s innocence in To Kill a Mockingbird, Gatsby’s drive to succeed in The Great Gatsby) and “What is the theme of your book?” (Examples: “We must open our hearts and treat others with morality as equals and protect the innocent, in spite of the evil in this world” in Mockingbird, “If we never let go of the past, we will suffer and ultimately be destroyed,” in Gatsby.)Originally Published