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The truth is I don't know how to get "serious" about writing. It usually just happens, or it doesn't. But man is there so ...

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Thoughts on writing my new book and honesty

I thought I knew how to write honestly but after reading the intro's to Shonda Rhimes, "A Year of Yes" and Jen Sincero "You Are a Badass," I think I still have ways to go. Their writing sounds honest. It sounds like they would sound if I met them in a bar or a night club. Shonda discusses her enmity to the truth, hold up, there I go, "enmity," who even says that word. This is what I mean. I get caught up, almost instinctively, trying to sound all MFA like. You would think being rejected from three New York MFA programs would have told me that I will be a gritty, unMFA'ed writer, not all poised and proper. If I can follow in the footsteps of Ta-Nehisi Coates, who did not finish college but writes like a mad genius than I will be in good company.

I guess that is why I started this blog all J.K. Rowling style. Using my first and middle initial represents freedom to me. It frees me from my past success, my previous work, and allows me to write. Before you get to googling me trying to figure out who I am, remember -- all will be revealed in time. Besides, when I say past success, no, I have not won on Pulitzer or a Noble Peace Prize, I just mean in my previous life I wasn't a writer and I had some success doing what I did. Success can be crippling in a way so adjusting my name is more for me than you.

But back to honesty, the writers I mentioned earlier are writing in what my writing teacher would call "their authentic voice" it sounds like they speak. On the page, I seem to come off sounding older, like I've lived a whole bunch of other lives. It frustrates me to no end because I have not always been sure of the balance. The balance it takes, to tell the truth in "my voice," and win a National Book Award. I've read readers who've won the prize but still feel it's outside my depth, so I will continue to try here, with you, you and I finding our voice together.

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