With my finger on the trigger: Writing with dangerous caution
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In May this year, the New York Times ran an article by Jennifer Medina about university students' calls for trigger warnings to be attached to course content, including literature, that 'might cause trauma' (Medina 2014, para. 14). In writing about self-injury and reflecting on writing as a process of self-care, I am dealing with potentially triggering content. As a writer, I want to confront my own areas of discomfort, but must I also consider the impact on readers of the content I produce? Lewis et al (2012) caution that while there are some benefits to online Nonsuicidal self-injury communications there are inherent risks. As more of our communication shifts to digital environments, writers dealing with difficult subject matter may need to consider issues like accessibility and the use of trigger warnings as the norm for these modes of distribution. Anna Gibbs (2006) discusses 'that writing entails risk' yet 'to think of writing as dangerous seems counter-intuitive' (157). This paper seeks to navigate the gap between the writer's perspective of a therapeutic approach and the creation of potentially triggering content or alternatively, do I leave the safety on?
Minding The Gap: Writing Across Thresholds and Fault Lines Papers – The Refereed Proceedings of The 19th Conference of The Australasian Association of Writing Programs
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Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting)