Honesty’s Shy Younger Sister

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I’ve been blogging for four years now and the time seems to have passed like a breath. In the beginning, I was more concerned about communicating a message than I was about the craft of writing. Those early entries are simple and true. They make fine reading. But there is one thing missing from my first posts…me. When I read through those earlier works, there is not one inkling about the woman who created them. This week in our readings of The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, Julia Cameron talks about the need for honesty in our writing.
This kind of dissonance, this sound of falseness, is what creeps into our writing when we use it as a place to hide something rather than reveal something. Writing is sheer—like a silk scarf—and the shape of our odd emotional furniture always shows beneath its drapes…
In my early writing, I hid behind the words. Rather than open the messiness of my life up for public consumption, I handled my message with kid gloves—making sure my hands did not get dirty. Why? Why would I deliberately rob my words of warmth—hollow out any real connection the reader might make? Cameron calls it honesty’s shy younger sister. Vulnerability.
Vulnerability in writing is the enemy of grandiosity. It is the enemy of pomposity. It is the enemy of posturing; the enemy of denial…Vulnerability in writing is health…
But it is also really, really scary. Cameron touts writing as the antidote to this fear.
…once I put something on the page I am also rendered a little less vulnerable. I have created for myself a piece of turf on which I am willing to stand.
How about you? Does writing make you feel vulnerable? If so, can you take it to the page? As Cameron says, Vulnerability…is the part of ourselves that renders us capable of great art, art that enters and explores the heart. Do you think it is worth the risk? Next week: Dailiness, Voice, and Form verses Formula. Related posts: Melo's Through My Fingers Eleanor's The Joy of Counting my Blessings is the Increased Awareness of My Surroundings Jessica's Big Pink Elephant Monica's Sandal-Walls Charity's Making It Joel's Confessions of an Ex-Secret Keeper Marilyn's Getting to the Story You Need to Write and Can't Blog About THAT! Glynn's Telling It True Nancy's No Matter What Cassandra's The Edge of Glory Photo by Kelly Langner Sauer, used with permission. Post by Laura.