Last week I met with my writer’s group and they gave me some food for thought about my writing.
Because there were so few of us and we didn’t have much new to share, I read a few things I’d written in the past year and put on my Yahoo! Voices page. One member told me that she thought, “people like your writing because you’re so honest.” Another member mentioned that he felt I hold back in reading to the group. He’s right, it’s much harder to read things for people face to face than what I post under the slight anonymity of a pen name. Both comments drew me to think about the honesty in my writing.
Honest is something I certainly try to be in life. In my writing it has to do with seeking the truth of the situation, whether it’s fiction or memoir. I think that the more honest I am about events and my feelings, the more someone else can connect with it and use the experience. I’ve always wanted to help people with my writing, if only to feel less alone. I think the connection that writing and reading can bring, dispelling the illusion of our distance and loneliness, could be one of my most important contributions. It’s all about the ripples.
I write for others, but even more so, I write for myself. I explore ideas and situations, exorcise demons. I particularly love end of the year writing – getting some last licks in before the year changes over. There’s something reflective and magical about it. It’s full of anticipation and potential energy. We may reflect on the past year, think about where we want to go and chart a course.
I’ve definitely been thinking about the novel I want to finish. I see it going through a lot of changes, giving it layers and depth. I’m anticipating the day when I feel it’s ready to strike out on it’s own, to present it to people for the reading.
I’m excited about writing in the coming year. Are you?