… when I sit down to write a first draft — the one in which I discover what I’m trying to say — I look away from [the] photographs [of those I love]. This is when I grow fangs, and my breath turns fiery. This is when I come closest to being a monster.
I write to find out what I know, what I think, what I fear. And I can’t do that if I’m censoring myself. I don’t need to worry about anyone else, because no one else will be reading this draft. This is such an important point for writers to remember. We can always dial it back, revise, rethink, later. In fact, we had better do all these things. But until we let the monster out of her hiding place, we won’t even know her face
Dani Shapiro, On Betrayal