Even the "you" in "yourself," in my title, is
about me protecting myself
from talking strictly about me.
It’s like that prof who explained to me once,
“When you use second person (the YOU),
you’re putting the emphasis on the other. Not on yourself. It’s safer."
Because, if I were being totally honest
I would be talking about me, and
me, and me again;
and then, in the end, I would hope that I had spoken
some larger truth to the world's YOUs,
everyone reading these words to themselves,
taking them in like the author (me) and the reader (you) were the WE.
As if to say: What are WE discovering together?
How about the fact that
indistinctly about him or her who
writes the original words—fiction shows glimpses of the author. Fiction
isn't just “made up.” Fabricated, yes, but not fake, not false, not absolute
And nonfiction is just a bunch of truths
gathered together to make a story.
Nonfiction isn’t the total truth,
but an intentional weaving of a truth-rug
(for all of the world to walk upon--or admire--as it wills).
I've written plenty of rugs.
Felt trampled enough, felt acknowledged and nodded at, too.
And when I felt hurt? That was when
I didn't protect myself, didn't wait 'til I was ready to share, didn't
wait 'til I didn't care
what people thought about my thoughts, experiences, my words.
So, the most honest thing I could do for you now
would be to publish this post as it were, right off the first
blip of my fingers, no edits.
Isn’t that dangerous?
It is. Because I should protect myself. Should protect my thoughts,
my hurts, my feelings. The world—all the you’s out there (reading this as
“me”)—doesn’t care about the author (ME) as much as I do.
I am my own wellspring,
a source of creative thought, of original, of inspired and perfectly me-defined thought.
So don’t write for anyone else but yourself. At least at first,
Write what you
want to read, write
what you believe you must. And if, for an instant, you worry
about someone’s reaction,
hold onto what you’ve written until you can say to yourself that
what you have written
is giving the world something it's better off with