A lot of people have asked me recently how to be ‘un-gaurded’ in writing, how to allow yourself to reach a certain vulnerability in writing and performance that rings emotionally true. I love deeply personal writing: both hearing it and writing it myself, partially because I feel like I never really know about how I feel about something unless I write about it.
So here is part of a workshop that I did with the amazingly talented playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, (author of The Motherfucker with the Hat). Stephen had us all write on this, and it was a very challenging exercise that got people writing from a really emotional place.
STEP ONE: Make a list of people that you have something that is unresolved with. Someone who you need to say something to but haven’t yet, or feel like you can’t.
STEP TWO: Pick someone from that list, and write them a letter. Let your mind go wherever you want, and know that they will never read it.
DONT GO READ STEP THREE UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED STEP TWO!!!
STEP THREE: Now, write another letter responding to the letter you just wrote. It has to be in their voice, back to you. They have to respond. (None of this ‘oh, but he’s a dick and would never respond.’ MAKE them respond.)
STEP FOUR: Read both letters together.
Hope this helps!