YES! Exactly, it’s hard to move others “if I’m unwilling to feel it myself.” I know I’m close when a passage I’ve worked on for a long time can still make me cry.
That makes self-care and knowing when *not* to address certain topics really important too. Some days I need to be in denial or at least focus on something that won’t bring me down and other days I can do the work.
And yes, personal distance is important. When I try to write a pain too soon it’s almost impossible to do anything other than flog readers with a sledgehammer because the pain is too raw for to allow for either a subtle touch or art.