Sarah Mills is a Writer and Editor at Conatus News, as well as a personal friend with whom I have written some articles. We did another interview prior. Here is a short interview talking about writing with her.
When I asked about the process of writing, Mills stated that she is continually re-evaluating personal positions. Even in further reflections on the positions held, her positions have developed significantly over time. She noted that writers can feel a bit “sheepish” in the admittance of changing personal positions and views on things. However, there can be a great strength in the reconsidering and change of positions.
Mills explained, “This past year has afforded me, through its challenges, the opportunity to reflect and also expand upon ideas I had previously taken for granted as indisputable or even noble. Writers are living creatures. They have to go through life to grow as writers, to write more deeply, more broadly, with greater wit, precision, and insight.”
Following this, I asked about the normal human impulse to not feel anything rather than deal with emotions head-on in order to cope with life. Mills stated that the past year has been particularly difficult and daunting for personal life struggles for her, where she notes the fundamental need to remain honest with oneself about the issues facing oneself.
“I personally feel that the solace found in distraction can be indulged in only once we have processed our traumas. Otherwise, distractions are a form of procrastination–we only put off healing until a later time,” Mills said, “To write is to be present and observant, but also to be vulnerable to the burden of empathy, introspection, and insight. If this sounds pretentious, it is not meant to be, I assure you. It is merely a tool of the trade to be able to put yourself in another’s shoes, to place yourself under scrutiny, and to see patterns in human behavior and world events.”
Those tools become important for the development of the character of the individual writer. This then leads into the trick of the trade of writing and editing. Mills remarked that there are no tricks, unfortunately, because the writer remains, at the end of their day, a reader. Same with the editing too. No shortcuts exist for good editing, where the vision of the work as a whole is important to bear in mind in order to edit and write well. She finds the editing of well-written work a “rare joy.”
The last question for this follow-up session was on the pluses and minuses of being an introspective person. Mills commented on the idea of meeting someone like you who does not cast judgment. However, she thinks that an excess of introspection and introversion can be unpleasant for people who happen to harbor those tendencies. It sounds like a cruel irony from the universe.
“Projecting outwards is sharing the heavy weight of existence and I envy those to whom it comes naturally. An introspective person will dissect her character and actions a hundred times a day and this only leaves her needing stitches. In the end, though, it could be argued she has a rich existence,” Mills concluded, “I am playing to stereotypes, of course, but introspection carries a positive only in virtue of its burdensome negative–the deeper you dig, the more you find. But you may not always like what you find–about yourself and others.”
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Image Credits: Pixabay