Honesty in Writing

            The new year brings two new published stories for me, available soon in the local Writers of the Mendocino Coast's annual anthology. I'm sharing one this month, "White Powder Blues," a much longer version of my previous half-page story with the same name.

            I first wrote this piece in third person, but my writing group insisted it should be first-person. They knew the story was really about me, and rightly stated it would be less distant, more real, and a better story if I owned it. 

            I had scary visions of standing at the podium and reading it to other anthology participants, knowing my secrets of another time in my life, a drug one, would become public knowledge. But I knew my co-writers were right, so I set aside my fears and followed their recommendation. 

            Earlier this month I did read five minutes of my story to others, via Zoom. And it was scary. But it's one of those questions for authors: How much truth should you tell? Who might you hurt in the process? The reality is: the more you share what's personal, your true feelings, the better your work will be.

           I'm glad I did it. I think it's made my story better.

"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader."

Robert Frost

American Poet



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