Posted by: Dennie | April 15, 2014

To Tell The Truth

To Tell The Truth

A television game show where three contestants attempt to Bull S*** a panel. The object was for the panel to figure out who is BS-ing and who is telling the truth.

Days Of My Life”  “Observations and commentary based on a real life non-soap opera.”

The name and sub-title of my blog, which, like the show, has had a lot of BS-ing. Not lies, just not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but.  I’ve offered bits and pieces of surface stuff, yet held back. A lot.

But things are about to change, ladies and gentlemen.

Let me count the ways.

Number One. I’m living a self-imposed deadline in which I have twenty-seven months to establish my writing and supplement my income. My plan is to eventually quit my “real job” and write full-time.

The goal: reach that accomplishment by the time I’m sixty.

Thus the twenty-seven months.

Number two. In order to reach said goal, I’ve been doing a lot of reading to educate myself. And in doing this I’ve realized the genre of my preference…

Creative non-fiction.  A form of writing used to present factually accurate,  well told stories. About anything.  As long as they are true. Which, as you’ll soon read, has been a conundrum.

I’ve been pushing myself. I joined a writing group.  Entered contests. Attended a couple of seminars. And applied for acceptance into writing programs.

Applied for acceptance. Whoa. I feel like I’m back in school when my stomach churned at the thought of  attending classes and studying.  But my stomach churns now because I want this so badly I think I’ll barf if it doesn’t happen.  And these programs are the real deal. I can’t just fork over money to have people teach me stuff. The people have to read my stuff first and decide if they think I’m teachable.

Number Three. The applications to these writing workshops and seminars include questions and requirements such as:

“Have you been published?”

“Send your résumé.”

“Include a writing sample.”

“Website.”

“Blog.”

Ummmm…let’s see…

“No.”

“I don’t have a résumé.”

“I can  send a sample.”

“Don’t have a website, either.”

And…”My blog needs to be dusted off and polished up.”

So here I am, dusting and polishing. Just in case anybody important stops by, I don’t want them to see nasty old cobwebs.

My blog needs to look fresh. And clean.

And new.

Which brings me to…

Number Four. I’ve gleaned something really important from all this reading and studying. And in a nutshell, it’s really quite simple.

Tell the truth.

That’s the new part.

Sounds pretty easy. And it seems to be for some people. Those people who do creative non-fiction so well. Anne Lamott. Dani Shapiro. Joan Didion. Elizabeth Gilbert. The list goes on.

As I have learned from Lee Gutkind, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.” It has to be real. It has to be truthful.

And there was my problem.

I was afraid.

I was protecting myself, and in many ways, people in my life.

I was afraid to put it all out there.  To express my opinions, especially if they are converse to others’. Especially they might cast people in a less-than-shining light.

But I’m learning that that’s where the good stuff is. That’s what will release me. Allow me to be myself. And tell it like it is.

My own truth. My own perspective.

It’s risky. That’s what the pros say. People might get pissed. Hell, not might, they will if I really write what’s going on inside. But I’ve discovered that unless I do this, until I do this, I will never move forward.

I’ve found the answer. I know it to be true because I felt it. I felt the blockage, like in an artery. My words couldn’t flow freely. I was holding back. I couldn’t let go.

I couldn’t tell my truth because I was afraid.

But the blockage has begun to dissolve.

Brene Brown, a  writer and research professor at The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work has written a book entitled, “I thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t)” and sub-titled, “Making The Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough.””

I am enough and it doesn’t matter what people think. My heart is full. Full of emotion and need and truth that must flow out.

It’s time.

I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

And then I answered back, “Nothing. At this point everyone knows my shit. And some think they know more because they made stuff up. Maybe people won’t speak to me. They don’t speak to me now, so how much more can they hurt me?  This is my life, full of characters and experiences and  material for stories and I’m going to write it.”

This is “Days Of My Life. Observations and Commentary Based On A Real Life Non-Soap Opera.”

I’ve been observing.

The True, Real Life Commentary will begin.

 

 

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