“Fiction is about everything human and we are made out of dust,
and if you scorn getting yourself dusty, then you shouldn’t try to write fiction.
It’s not a grand enough job for you.” – Flannery O’Conner
It was a writer’s group day today. I love writer’s group days. Every time I go, I feel encouraged.
One of the things I loved most about today’s group was a conversation we had that began with someone telling how she had kept this part of herself that needed to write hidden for so long and was just now connecting with that part of herself. It seemed that was a very common experience for all of us. I imagine it’s a very common experience for everyone in one way or another, holding back part of who they really are or who they really want to be for all sorts of reasons.
I am on Day 39 of my daily writing challenge, and I have shared before how this commitment has helped me to stay accountable to my writer self. I am forcing myself with this challenge to keep from shoving the writer to the back of the closet and shutting the door, which is always a temptation when the writing seems tough or feels bad. The daily writing serves as a reminder every day to acknowledge this part of me.
One of my favorite things in this beautiful life are those moments when the everyday ho hum is scraped away and that which makes us really alive seems to shine through. There are so many of these moments, and I think as writers we are especially aware of them, and re-create them all sorts of ways in our writing. I am finding the more I acknowledge my own authentic moments, the better able I will be to translate that to my writing.
This week I submitted a short story to the group to workshop, and I found that I was the least nervous about sharing it than I have been with anything else I’ve shared so far. I think the reason for that was that I felt it was very honest and something that felt very real to me right now. The story felt like a good reflection of who I am as a writer and what I’d like to be doing. Submitting it to the group and feeling confident in the work felt great.
My new challenge this week is to work very hard to continue writing what feels really honest to me. I want very human moments. I want all those little details we shove aside or keep hidden. I want to highlight all of that in my writing. I want to see it in others. I want to see it in myself.
And thankfully I made myself the commitment to post a blog at least every Sunday, otherwise the distraction that was the Super Bowl may have kept me from posting. Fortunately, I’d already seen my essential viewing from this year’s Super Bowl ahead of time on You Tube as Jaguar USA posted their #GoodToBeBad ad with the fantastic Tom Hiddleston as one of our favorite British villains. Is that keeping it real? I don’t know. But I like it.
Have a great week, y’all.