David Corbett in his book The Art of Character writes, “heartbreak is a gift.” Should we add only if we write? Our heart is broken and as writers we can transfer its energy to story. I get that, but is heartbreak really a gift? for anybody?

There is something to what David says. It makes me think, but I read his words knowing I would rather escape heartbreak. Yet I associate my heartbreaks for a kind of coming out of naiveté.

It seems as if life didn’t begin until I experienced all aspects of it. Including heartbreak. On the surface the idea makes no sense, especially when I experienced it. Only upon reflection do I catch a breath of truth.

What is it we gain out of heartbreak? I guess this is what we write about. That must be why it fits in a book with the title of The Art of Character. It is character builder. Still, I would still rather skip it.

8 thoughts on “Heartbreak

  1. jhvn October 23, 2013 / 9:07 pm

    Provocative. Have you experienced the character growth of heartbreak followed by intense reflection? The experience not the idea! I have found that the value becomes real only after sufficient time to allow the reflection to penetrate my soul.


  2. New Hampshire Garden Solutions October 24, 2013 / 6:22 pm

    You can’t sing the blues until you’ve lived them. I think a little heartache makes a person’s writing go much deeper, and it seems easier to empathise with them.

    • fictionfitz October 24, 2013 / 7:04 pm

      Still like it better if heartaches weren’t necessary. Maybe I am delusional.

  3. Elaine Clarke October 24, 2013 / 8:37 pm

    After an intense heartbreak and loss several years ago, I found the following quote to be true for me. “My barn having burned to the ground, I can now see the moon.” Sometimes I find I hang on to what may not work best for me and don’t realize it until it’s gone.

    • fictionfitz October 25, 2013 / 5:28 am

      If only the moon would show quickly. I love your story’s image.

  4. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist October 25, 2013 / 2:51 am

    Heartbreak is only necessary if you are writing a “misery memoir” and only then if you are wanting to have good sales figures. Heartbreak is sadly a part of life and each heartbreak contributes to the person we are today. I’m with you though – I’d prefer not to have them.

    • fictionfitz October 25, 2013 / 5:30 am

      Interesting that sales are helped by misery. Why is that do you think?

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist October 25, 2013 / 7:31 am

        For the same reason people gather around the scene of a car accident or other tragedy. I think some people get some kind of pleasure by being voyeurs on misery, others probably are trying to find out how people have dealt with a particular kind of crisis hoping to get the answers for their own crisis. I don’t know about the States but “misery memoir” in Australia is very popular followed by “Dad memoirs”. I don’t really understand it as I personally hate heart break.

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