Writing as a way to banish concerns from your mind, according to Dos Passos

“When you write about something you often never think of it again.”

—John Dos Passos


I’m a big fan of John Dos Passos and his stories about how cruel the reality could be for immigrants arriving in American cities at the turn of the century – and how harsh and solitary life in those unforgiving cities could be.

So much of the imagery of his novels has stayed with me over the years, and I definitely need to revisit some of those novels read long ago.

Dos Passos (American, 1896-1970) was a talented writer – so I loved reading this quote, for it rings true.

Authors choose to write on a topic or a problem that interests them. It’s fun to delve deep into the research, obsessively mapping out the story and devising plot points, examining every angle of the the situation you’ve set out for yourself.

And by novel’s end, it can sometimes feel like catharsis – as if the plotting and the writing has served (not only complete your novel, but also) to work through the nagging concerns floating around in your mind.

Until the next concern arises and the process begins once again.

What about you, writers? After writing about something, do you often not think of it again?

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