I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Honesty beyond reason

How honest am I as a writer. How deep am I willing to dig, how low am I willing to go?
This is my attempt to turn over the spade and see just how grungy I can get. It’s about an overused term which has been floating among writers for, forever I guess. And it is this.
“Writing is hard work.”
Is it...really...hard work?
What part of writing is hard?

The digging, yes that can be difficult, or is it the sitting, the scribing or tapping. Unless you’re typing with a mouth-stick, what you are doing is easy. Unless you are writing about your dead child, or your rape, or your child’s rape, writing is easy. Unless you are revealing something which puts your life, you family’s lives, your community or your nation at risk, writing is an easy endeavor. Unless, as a result of something you wrote, looking over your shoulder is as practiced as looking both ways when you cross the street, writing is easy.

When I see highway workers laying asphalt at high noon in July, I know I have it easy. When I see electrical linemen climbing polls in February I am glad I write and that my battery is charged. We are lucky, you and I, our depth of difficulty involves our brains. We get to sit and struggle, wallow and wait in air conditioned comfort, in heated homes, on sunny porches and back decks or in well-appointed offices. I have a 9 to 5 which sucks but when I get to write I sit at a table in a HGTV kitchen with a full fridge and cabinets that could feed dozens any day of the week. Nine tenths of the rest of the world can’t even imagine what we do or where and how we do it. They don’t care because their hard work is survival.

Every day I read blogs written by writers and dreamers, editors and agents. To read about their “hard work” amused me at first but not anymore. Hard work is what the post before this one was about. Hard writing is writing about knowing that after five years of working unbelievably hard, post diagnosis for a future, you are about to die

To all of us working on novels and memoirs, to us struggling pen-people scratching our words into dreams of fame and fortune, if the agent doesn’t email us back or we don’t get ‘the call’, or the writer next door with no experience gets a six figure advance, and we get the ‘no reply means no’, we curse them. Why is that?

I’m done with lecturing, yelling, ranting, being honest or whatever the hell you want to call it. Honestly I don’t know how really hard it is for you to finish your precious tome. All I know is that one of the best writers ever, died two weeks ago.
She wrote through nightmarish situations with honesty beyond reason. Her gift was that she made us uncomfortable and smile at the same. 
She wrote.
She was hopeful.
She lived.
She died.
How honest are you?

No comments:

Post a Comment