I’ll never forget the wonderful series (BBC), “The Singing Detective” by the wonderful writer Dennis Potter, whose physical sufferings (psoriatic arthritis – unbearable pain and itchings) offered him, in his own words, a rebirth. He felt free to write whatever he wanted and he did! It was Potter who said (and meant it) that every writer should have blood on the teeth. Anyone who has given or witnessed birth knows what a bloody chaotic mess it is.
I came across Potter’s words recently and they stopped me cold. Since I’m writing a novel about the messiness of grief, addiction, longing and fear, I checked my teeth in the mirror: Yup. Good: a few red specks there.