6 responses

  1. Herb Harris
    September 15, 2021

    These are wonderful insights! Trying to draw an awkward portrait of myself was one of the most enlightening things I have done as a writer. I turned the result into an essay, “Portrait of the Artist as a Black Man” (https://solsticelitmag.org/content/portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-black-man/)


  2. Julie
    September 15, 2021

    All are wonderful suggestions for someone who hates to look at herself in mirrors or photos (but is mad sometimes that her husband doesn’t take enough of her when her hair looks good).


  3. Kim Pittaway
    September 16, 2021

    Thank you, Herb. I just read your essay as well–it is wonderful, thoughtful and thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing the link!


  4. Cassandra Hamilton
    September 17, 2021

    Great craft essay! I heartily agree with the idea to take to visual arts to inform one’s writing. Writer’s often have trouble seeing themselves as characters; creating a self portrait (or series of self portraits at different life stages) provides rich material for the writer to mine for writing projects. I like how the author describes her reasoning to do this work and that it helped her “to weave in an insight here or a glimpse of my character there—and in doing so, tried to ensure there isn’t a blank spot on the canvas where I should be.”


  5. John
    September 19, 2021

    I have been collecting memories and detritus left over from before. I appreciate the challenge to do a self portrait. I think I’ll try it privately first ?


  6. Andrea Firth
    September 20, 2021

    yes, yes! Great essay. Love the insights and the connection to art, painting. And the prompts are brilliant. I was re-watching the movie Forest Gump over the weekend, and I was struck by how and why the director inserted Gump’s character (Tom Hanks) in significant historical moments in the 1960’s. And then I read your prompt–a great idea for a prompt.


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