Confession

May you live in interesting times. — Ancient Chinese curse.

A quick note to you, Dear Reader…

I’ve been keeping the good stuff from you.

Too often for a writer, I have acted as a coward. I have held back the juicy, stomach churning, nail biting drama of my life and it hasn’t been fait to either you or to me.

One obvious example is from over a year ago, when my family was living in a hotel for about six months. It was cramped and uncomfortable, it was scary some days when we couldn’t even afford the hotel for the day..but it was really interesting. I should have been writing about it at the time.

I chickened out.

I was too worried about criticism and about preserving some Image of normality. I did touch on the subject a bit at the time but I did it in a way that felt safe to me. I never really dug right into the day to day reality of my life t that time. That makes sense on a human level but as a writer, it was a gutless thing to do.

I don’t say any of this out of regret but just as an acknowledgement of where I was and where I want to be headed. I’m in another period of transition, another shedding of old skin. I’m writing this on a train speeding through Arizona at 5am, almost totally broke, in failing health and with a future that’s very uncertain right now…my family about to leave our home to move back into a hotel in the five days.

Sounds like a pretty compelling story, doesn’t it?

As I move into a phase where I take myself seriously as a writer, I need to ignore the fears that have kept me from telling the most compelling stories I can.

4 Comments

  1. If I have an experience that makes me think, “I don’t want others knowing about this!” that’s a sign I SHOULD write about it, because it will make others feel sane/normal/not alone.

    A recent example is a jealous freakout I had. I was ashamed of my feelings, but processed and wrote about them, and my readers responded with overwhelming love and support.

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  2. You probably know what I feel about this. The more naked I am, the more happens for me. I typically use two self prompts each morning – either “what is the most true thing for me in this moment?” or “what do I not want to write about?”

    As my bff allison nazarian has told me, don’t judge, just write. Even if you don’t publish something now (maybe you will later) – still write it.

    The interesting this is I have only 2 blog posts I’ve ever written and not published. Both about other people, and that’s why they are not published – it would be revealing someone else’s stuff. Once I give myself the freedom to write & not judge, then I end up being able find the balls to publish it, after it is created.

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  3. I couldn’t agree more. When I finally sat down and mailed my story off to Penthouse Letters I didn’t just feel better, I felt stronger and braver too, like you.

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