Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Briefly Stated Truths


We've all been told we need a platform to entice an agent or editor. But sometimes, tweeting seems worse than writing, or takes over when writing should come first. Delilah Dawson at Whimsy Dark has some great advice.

For those of you just starting, have you discovered a community on Twitter? We are a lonely tribe. Twitter can amuse, inform, and accompany us on our journey.

Me, I like to post nonsense when I'm not posting that I've posted something new on my blog. What nonsense would you Tweet if you could say ANYTHING YOU WANT without embarrassing yourselves and/or your friends and families?

Enter this information in your journal. 140 characters per faux Tweet. Then get a padlock ... or a good hiding place.

Where do you hide your journal?

Happy writing day!


More practice on writing something brief ...

What are a few of your favorite quotations from well-known writers? Here's one of mine:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 

It's from TS Eliot's "Little Gidding" and I have thought of it repeatedly when life proves it to be true.

If you were to speak one of your truths, something you've learned from your life journey, what would it be? Try out several, and then write one out in 50 WORDS (not characters). Tomorrow, see if you still believe it to be one of the truths you would share with a younger you.

Happy writing!


This morning, I read an interesting quotation from Hannah Arendt:

Nur das ist wahr, dem wir bis zuletzt die Treue halten.

I am hardly a perfect translator (if there is such a thing), and Ms. Arendt isn't hanging around here to help me out, but I take from those words, The only thing that is true is that in which we keep faith. 

Obscure, right? Or is it?

Now let's get a little less philosophical ...

Here's my one and only Dorothy Parker-ish quip:  I have been more faithful to the Red Sox than to any man. 

Haha, right? But it's true! I believed in them in 1967, and I believe in them now. That's pretty long! In 1967, I had a crush on Carl Yastremzski! That's not who I'm crushing on now. (Yes, 50-somethings still do that ... and I'm fortunate to be living with mine.)

Finally, in 2004, 2007, and 2013, the Red Sox validated my belief in them, my faith that they could break The Curse and win the World Series. In 2013, they embodied Boston Strong and I got a maybe too big Sox "B" tattoo to celebrate my 55th birthday.

What else have I believed in that long?

I believed in myself as a writer in 1970, when I wrote a newsletter about my Girl Scout Troop's activities.

I believed in myself as a writer in 1981, when I worked at a publishing house and participated in a writers group. But writing didn't go well for me then, so I had only a wobbly conviction.

I believed in myself as a writer when I started graduate school in English Lit in 1985, thinking that if I read the masters, I'd be able to emulate them. In fact, the masters convinced me that at best I was a minor talent. My faith in my writerly self faltered ...

I have published a lot since then, and certainly I can spin out an essay that will move you, or write a poem that captures a moment or emotion. But I still have not finished a novel--and I've always wanted to write one and polish it to my own satisfaction (or as much satisfaction as any novelist ever feels). I've always wanted to see it published with a real cover and an ISBN.

Last fall, I almost gave up. My daughter in publishing said, You can do this. You are a writer, Mom.

I went back to it. I'm getting closer.

The only thing that is true is that in which we never lose faith.

I believe in unconditional love. My parents gave it to me and I to my own children. And my children return it. They would never judge me for giving up. But they want me to fulfill my dream.

What faith in other faulty, fallible human beings do you hold? Including yourself? You can express this faith in fewer than 140 characters--I know you can.

I believe I will publish an important work of fiction.

The only failed writer is the one who gives up.

To whom have you been faithful since you were ten years old? Or to what idea, hope, goal? Write it out in 140 characters or fewer. Now, expand on it. What does that faith mean to you? Let it be as philosophical as Arendt's or as personal as mine.

See you next week! Happy writing!

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