Thursday, December 01, 2005

Truth and Confessions of Writing

Time for Truth and Confessions

I hate writing. I love the romance of writing.

Well, actually, that's not quite true either. I love writing when I don't have to think about it. Like in my journal. Or on this blog. God knows I post without re-read more days than not.

What I actually hate is knowing that my writing is lacking something. It lacks that punch that grabs your stomach, twists it in knots, and makes it real.

It lacks a confident author writing about what she fears.

I know this because I found a memoir that I did for the one and only creative writing class I've ever taken. The class required four submissions, one from each format structure we studied that semster, with one genre to spare.

I wrote a short story, a poem, and the memoir. The fourth piece was something I had written before taking the class and cheated by submitting it with minimal editing.

Dear god I just admitted to the entire internet that I cheated in a college level course. If that doesn't blow my cover, nothing will.

The memoir focuses on one tiny aspect of my life, as memoirs often do. Throughout my life, since kindergarten, I've known someone named Matthew. Tracking that name was the focus of the piece. As I re-read the words as submitted on October 28, 1999, I realized that I was an idiot for admitting that stuff.

And a coward because I wouldn't be so bold to do that today.

I intended to rewrite the piece to have critiqued by my writing group. I'm one of those "I promise to bring something someday" people. Someday last happened ages ago and is peeping around the corner at me. Again.

Ever since I cleaned files and found this memoir, I kept thinking, this was a decent piece at the time. I should look at it, spruce it up and bring it.

Dear god I just admitted to the entire internet that I haven't learned anything since college and I still cheat on my real writing assignments. That's it, my cover is blown.

As I read, it bothered me that the twenty-something that had the courage to write that and share it in a rather intimate college classroom setting, didn't make the transition to the almost thirty-something that I am now. Isn't the past part of us supposed to come along for the future?

As I read, it bothered me that I knew exactly what the Hammer, as we fondly call one member, would say. I propose truths, but give no evidence of truth. I tell the effect of a Matthew, but do not show what transpired.

As I read, it bothered me that I came across as a slut in one part, when, in fact, I was confused and nothing transpired because of my confusion.

As I read, it bothered me that I waited so long to admit that I was scared to write about my experiences truthfully. Instead, I drew upon the experiences of others to characterize the people who dwell in my head and seldom live on paper.

As I read, it bothered me that I might not actually be cut out to be a writer as I want to be.

I don't know if I'll share the piece at the next meeting. I don't know if I'll revise the piece with the intent to share. What I'd like to do is give voice to the part of me that had the courage to yell "LIAR" and figure out how to use that voice when writing to give life to those people dwelling in my head.

To write honestly.

No comments: