“Total Honesty. Hold Nothing Back.”

I used to write this at the top of every page of my notebook.

Great sentiment, although I rarely hit the target.

It felt like there was rope wrapped around my skull.

Too hard to unravel.

That old rule of writing practice, “Go for the jugular,” felt elusive.

I’ve noticed that my students often get stuck the moment they start thinking about writing a book.

The mind freezes.

Thoughts of “should” return.

This should be good.

This should be productive.

This ten-minute write should move the book forward.

A few weeks ago in Zoom class, one my students broke out of trying to tell her story and blew open the virtual room by writing some hard truths about her life and her feeling.

Everyone woke up.

The next week you could feel the shift in everyone’s writing.

Less trying, more truth.

The airwaves crackled with it.

In the that spirit

I am replacing “Total Honesty” with

Tell the Damn Truth.

When I built my website, I was told that Google’s search engine, liked the phrase, “Speak your truth.”

I never bothered about the search engine.

It tightens that rope on the skull.

The truth will not be found in Google Analytics, anyway.

The truth will appear in your notebook, when you stop trying so hard.

When you write what you need to write.

When you write the whole damn truth.

Be the Writer You Were Born to Be

 

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