Sunday, March 10, 2013


The Entry Where I Confess

The great Harry Crews once said, "A writer's job is to get naked, to hide nothing, to look away from nothing, to look at it," he wrote. "To not blink, to not be embarrassed by it or ashamed of it. Strip it down and let's get to where the blood is, where the bone is."

And that’s exactly what I’m doing with “Tug.”  I look forward to those stolen moments throughout the week where I can revisit these characters, this down-trodden town and the pursuits within.  But I don’t miss the characters.  It’s not a happy story.  It aims to happy in the long run, but it’s not a bullshitter story.  It pulls no punches on the human condition.  Most of all, it’s me.  It’s my story.  My story too lacking of anything truly outstanding to warrant as a memoir, but too full of literary quality to ignore.  There is art all around us.  Take a look at a situation—any situation you find yourself in—and find the literary stuff that it’s made up of.  Find some catharsis in your situation and write it down.  Each and every week, I’m back at the events that made up last year.  Tonight, I cried.  Well, I guy cried.  I was back in this particular moment that had me welling up then and now.  So I write it down. 

But there’s a danger inherent to writing so full of personal emotion:  will YOUR experience translate as meaningful onto the page?  I think there’s this rule to not write fiction with you as the character.  Well, fuck that.  If you’re a good enough writer, go ahead.  If you can make your story someone else’s, do it.  If you can connect with a reader through story, write anything!  If you can control the power of your words, channel that feeling into words that nail another reader in the gut—write on (pun {or double entendre?} intended). 

 "If you're gonna write, for God in heaven's sake, try to get naked, “Harry Crews said. “Try to write the truth. Try to get underneath all the sham, all the excuses, all the lies that you've been told."

Yes, try to get beneath all the lies and excuses you’ve told yourself about yourself.  Forget all those rationalizations.  Show the dark side of yourself.  Grab onto that shit in your life that made that dark side of yourself and embrace it.  Without all that darkness, you probably wouldn’t be writing darkness in the first place.  So love on it.  Cherish the darkness.  I should thank being locked and duct taped in a closet oftentimes as a child.  I should thank quite possibly being diddled by some man and fearful that I’ll remember it someday.  I should thank being tiny and booger nosed all the time.  Messy hair, afraid to speak, in silent worship of all the other kids who were bigger and braver than me.  I should thank being told by a parent, I wasn’t able to be loved.  I should thank the mystery visitor I’m denied having ever existed who brought me toys and asked me if I wanted to live with her.  I should be happy that the tension in my house pressed upon me each and every day and begged of escape. 

For now, I’ll just write on.  I’m at 5097 words and it’s going well.      

1 comment:

  1. That is one of the most brutally honest, courageous powerful and moving paragraphs i have ever read, wide eyed and swallowing everyword on the page a morbid curiosity didnt want it to end, im both repulsed and impressed, and now curious to see how it will read in chapters, eagerly awaiting your next instalment, anticipation?....havent felt you in a long time x