Say who you are, really say it in your life and in your work. Tell someone out there who is lost, someone not yet born, someone who won’t be born for 500 years. Your writing will be a record of your time. It can’t help but be that. But more importantly, if you’re honest about who you are, you’ll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognize him or herself in you and that will give them hope…Give that to the world, rather than selling something to the world.
I’ve been wanting to say something here about the importance of being generous with your person, even though it makes you feel vulnerable and uncool, but I wasn’t sure how it tied in with advice on writing, until I read those words from Charlie Kaufman. Thanks to Eden for being generous with her person, and guiding me to them.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I posed with some friends for a silly group photo a few weeks ago. Or so I thought, when I threw my arms above my head showgirl style. It wasn’t until it appeared on instagram a few hours later, that I realized everyone else had played it straight with their hands demurely on their hips. As if the pose wasn’t conspicuous enough on its own, the physics of it inadvertently took my minidress hemline from barely appropriate to borderline indecent. Just a “there she goes again” moment for those who know me, but it was a stranger’s amused comment that nailed it.
“That one is DOIN THE MOST! ” she exclaimed.
I had never heard that expression, much less knew what it meant exactly, but I loved it and adopted it right away.
Doin the most is the story of my life. The feeling–the fear–of being too much.
I used to think it was just me. But I bet some of you know the feeling too. Maybe we all know it, because being alive is so much.
Self-control is necessary and good for getting along in the world. Self-oppression serves nothing and nobody. It’s also totally ineffective. The most out-of-control people I know are the harshest tyrants towards their own nature.
I don’t know whether it’s a process of maturity, or practiced exposure through writing, but I’m more and more okay with that part of me that gets away from me sometimes. It mostly amuses me, sometimes exasperates me — really, why can’t I be cool and mysterious — but it hardly ever shames me anymore. There I go again, being me.
Good writing doesn’t come from a place of self-satisfaction, but from self-acceptance. Be willing to say who you are, for what it may be worth, and trust that it’s worth something to someone.