In my wandering about the internet lately, seeking inspiring passages on writing, I came across an interesting post that had a list of 10 quotes by 10 different authors. I thought it might be an interesting exercise to take one of these quotes each day and share my thoughts on what each writer had to say.
So for the first of these 10 quotes, I have decided to go with Virginia Woolf, “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” I begin with this quote because with the events that have transpired over the last year of my life, I have had to do some deep self examination. The details need not be hauled out into the open in this forum, but suffice it to say, I had not been honest with those around me. I had betrayed my friends and family, but mostly I had betrayed myself. I have had to come to terms with who I am and what it is I want to be as a person. Honesty can be a frightening creature, particularly when it has been caged within a prison of deceit. When that jail cell is opened, honesty comes lashing out, destroying all those carefully laid schemes that had kept her trapped away from sight. Honesty prefers to live in the light, unhidden from view. At times she can hurt, but when allowed to live freely, honesty’s wounds are more superficial and heal more easily. It is only when locked away in darkness that she truly grows vindictive and vengeful.
As a writer, it is important to confront yourself with honesty, both the kind that lives in the light and the kind that has been cloaked in darkness. It can be a very painful experience. You may dig up memories you had kept hidden from yourself. But it is absolutely necessary. Humans are imperfect creatures. We have flaws and scars. A writer must come to terms with these within themselves in order to write characters who exist in a real world, who readers can identify with and see themselves in.
From my own experience as a writer, I know that every single character I write is always at least a little bit myself. Main characters tend to be the most like myself, but there is some of me in each of them. It takes being honest, truly heart wrenchingly honest, with yourself to be able to draw those things out and make those people in your stories real. I hope that my recent and ongoing self examination and discovery will help me to make better characters and better stories.
As always, thank you for your continued love and support.