Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth. (Personal Essay)
In September, I decided to become, at last, a bit more serious about my writing. I have written all my life, but only on sporadic occasions have I attempted to turn my writing into more than just a hobby. My September decision to delve headfirst into a writing life was a huge leap into the unknown- a realm of do or die. I am a writer who composes in her head before sitting down at night to put into concrete words the often confusing thoughts. To give them life. To flesh them into something more than just mere ramblings. To enter the world of the true wordsmith.
Having entered this writing life (a lonely one, I’ve found), I stored all my teacher clothes in the spare closet, and began to live in what is becoming my everyday uniform: ragged at the cuff Old Navy jeans, various long sleeve boys’ button up shirts, and black high top Converses. I look like a twelve year old boy, but in my mind’s eye this is exactly how a true writer looks- a bit disheveled, low maintenance, and too busy in actual creation to give much thought to something as insubstantial as appearance. Did Van Gogh not sacrifice a portion of his body for his art (or was that lust?) Did Poe not forgo heat in his very own home in order to follow his tell-tale heart? Did
not send a letter to the world and then shut herself from it? And while I will not sacrifice an ear to the blade, because I just love the way small silver earrings fit into the little holes there, I will cut corners, so to speak. Dickinson
I’m no Van Gogh, Poe, or Dickinson, but should I not have to suffer for my art? Should I not have to frump around in consignment sale shirts while I attempt to turn the words out onto the page like a perfect skillet fried egg? Suffer is a matter of perspective, anyway, is it not? I have pared back in my life: I do not darken the doors of Belk’s and buy that smoking hot dress that was made for my black boots. I do not wander into the regular priced section in Barnes & Noble, but instead limit myself to the clearance tables. I do not press a button and instantly order movies from satellite Pay for View, but have become one with the local Redbox where I can rent the same movies for a dollar. I am sacrificing. I am giving into my art. I am creating my own garret with instant Rhapsody music and green lemon tea with honey. I may want to appear like a self sacrificing “starving” artist on the outside; however I do not want to live like one. After all, my mama didn’t raise no fool.
So, if you see me around town, just nod your head and try not to tell me how awful my attire is. I know how unfashionable I am. One day, when I win the Pushcart Prize or The National Book Award, I will be called eccentric and fresh. Now? I’m just sitting at my computer looking like a frumpy fifty year old woman pretending I dress this way for my art, when really it’s just the fact that the older I get, the more the realm of comfort becomes my sole aim in life. Writer, my ass….
Posted by Liti