Writing from Personal Experience: Janet Fitch on using the deep parts

Janet Fitch

Author Janet Fitch is also a Lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California. She comments about her experiences as a writer:

“Anytime you work with materials that are deep parts of yourself, you feel revulsion at showing things about yourself that you don’t want people to know.

“White Oleander, for example, was so much about loneliness, and I was revealing something about myself. You have to work as deeply as you can to give the reader something worth reading, but you’re also showing things about yourself that you’re not pleased with.

“It’s your flaws, not your strengths that go down in the depths of your books. You’re exposed, like dreaming you’re naked in a public building.”


“I’ve been depressed many times in my life. But under it all I’m an optimist. I’ve never been in that extreme a state, like my suicidal character Michael Faraday in Paint it Black. I have to tell myself, Life can be good, and I can get through this. This will pass.”

Janet Fitch – from interview by Mary Curran-Hackett, Writer’s Digest

Photo by Aaron Salcido from post: Novelist Janet Fitch, Zócalo Public Square.

See list of Janet Fitch books.

Related Talent Development Resources pages:

Depression and Creativity website  |  Facebook page

article: Creativity and Depression, by Douglas Eby

Depression relief: products / programs.


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