I’m finding that writing with honesty is about as difficult as finding the perfect pair of jeans. There are different jeans for different moods (as well as for differing caloric intakes throughout a specific period of time) and even if I like a pair I’ll usually fretfully gaze at myself in the mirror for a good 15 minutes, trying to decide if my opinion of how I look will match up with everyone else’s opinion of how I look.

When I’m writing, the same thing happens… I’ll pause to review my work and then wonder what everyone else* will think of it.

"Will this offend someone? I mean, it really is what I think my character would say, but what if a reader takes offense?..."

This thought shapes my work more than I care to admit.

It’s embarrassing because honesty is crucial to good writing.

The friend who I feel most comfortable with is the friend who is honest, even when it hurts (and even when their opinion seems flawed).

The author whose work I love to re-read over and over again is honest, even when his/her words occasionally rub me the wrong way.

What I love about some of my favorite authors is that when they write, the walls come down. Barriers created by “politically correct trends” are replaced with an almost childlike sincerity.  

So, I’d like to work on remembering that to write well is to observe and report, as opposed to observing with an eye to manipulate, and then reporting.

We all know that life involves many situations and concepts that are difficult to accept. I find these situations and concepts much easier to deal with when I’ve read a related book written by someone with the decency to bring such  subjects to the fore.

A well- written story does more than pick us up and drop us in a land of make-believe, it reintroduces us to our own heart.


What I mean is that by being honest, writers help (themselves and) the rest of us to grasp key aspects of human nature.

When we understand ourselves, we fare better.

So, I love that most writers, and especially the good ones, are honest, honest, honest.

Nora Ephron was quoted as saying, "That is the truest sign of insanity--insane people are always sure they are fine. It is only the sane people that are willing to admit that they are crazy."

Honesty is admitting to the weirdness that comes with being human.


Some of my **favorite writers are:   Anna Maxted, Carl Sagan, Tina Fey. What do you think about writing with honesty and who are your favorite writers?


Thanks for reading this!!





*everyone else refers to the two lovely individuals who actually read my work : ) and are probably reading this sentence. That’s right, you!

**This list changes every 15 minutes and I wanted to add Shakespeare to it but I thought that would be cheesy. But seriously, Shakespeare never leaves this list.


 


Comments




Leave a Reply