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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing is a work of non-fiction by Marlene Cullen. As Christine Falcon-Daigle writes: “The safety of the blank page has been where I go to find myself whenever I feel lost and alone or spiritually bankrupt. It’s a channel, a mirror, a magic wand.” These words speak profoundly to my own writer’s soul. There is no writer’s block in my life, nor fear of a blank page, only the fear of running out of time before all those words bottled up inside me can find their way to that blank page. We writers all have our fears, however; some are more distinct and seemingly insurmountable than others. But, we are writers, first and foremost, and it’s through our writing that we can find our sense of place, of belonging, of being alive.
Marlene Cullen’s book, The Write Spot, is an anthology of sorts. Collecting ramblings and thoughts from a broad spectrum of writers (including herself), the author brings forth many concepts and fears that we writers face on a daily basis. Each entry is a first-person account that studies a pivotal point in the author’s writing career and is accompanied by a prompt, like an event that marked the writer’s life, a walk on the beach, or someone who saved you. This is the prompt that inspired the contribution and it can (and should) be used by other writers perusing this book for inspiration. Following the prompt is the question: “What scares you about writing?” Here the author/contributor shares their thoughts on the topic which may help and/or encourage other writers. The entry is completed with a short biography of the author who made the contribution, highlighting some key points in their writing career that put them where they are today. All these entries are focused on the poignant theme of healing, something we need a good dose of, especially after over a year of lockdowns and restrictions. In the end, the author provides a list of additional resources to further the writer’s healing through the writing process. The Write Spot is an engaging read and a useful tool to enlighten us and help us progress with our writing goals.