Why I hate writing, Part 9: Honesty

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Sometimes I’ll tweet stuff that’s rather cryptic. These tweets are often the result of frustration. They’re incredibly selfish on my part. My way of stomping my feet without stomping on anyone’s feet in particular.

Some writers can take a story about themselves and make it about the reader, some can take just about anything and make it about themselves. I’m not a fan of the latter. Navel gazing does not make for compelling writing.

I often read something almost good and mourn the first draft before the writer worried about offending anyone.

While both tweets may seem somewhat unrelated, they’re really not. Both are about my frustration with lack of honesty in writing. I understand that all writers should consider their audience and what they are hoping to accomplish through their words. Still, I think we spend way too much time worrying about what others think of us; too much effort trying to be a better version of ourselves–or worse–a different version of another person.

I know what a competitive field writing is. I also understand the pressure writers are under to build platforms and broaden their audience, even if much of that pressure is self-induced. But I’m telling you as an avid reader and a big supporter of writing and of writers: ¬†Intelligent readers can sniff out dishonest writing. The last thing you want to do is to insult your reader’s intelligence.

Writers, and fiction writers in particular, have the freedom to express what’s in their hearts; to live lives through their words they most likely will never experience in the real world. Do that well and you’ll do us all the grand favor of allowing us to come along on the journey.

And I for one will be extremely grateful.

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