Writing Truth

Why Is This So Difficult?

The question is rhetorical. I get it. People struggle to even identify their truths much less write or speak them. I just spoke at the Ancient City Chapter of the Florida Writers Association in St. Augustine. I fully expected some push-back in a couple areas which I knew my presentation would touch a nerve.

That’s a good thing. If I’m not touching nerves, I’m not doing what I believe. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t purpose to bring opposing opinions my way. I don’t stir up mess on purpose either. On the other hand, I will not circumvent MY truths and what I’ve learned about writing over the past 37 years. I feel my message needs to be heard and hopefully adopted by those whom this message helps.

So, the main push-back on writing your personal truth that interested me regarded “writing for market.” Just the phrase “writing for market” sets my fingers on edge on my keyboard. I abhor and reject writing for market as anything I desire. My philosophy and belief is that writers should write for only one person – themselves. Write your truth. Write it real. Write it without apology. Fiction or nonfiction. Does not matter.

I don’t say this, believe this, nor adopt this as personal philosophy in a willy-nilly manner. This positions has come to me over a couple decades of learning the writing life. I will not say “learning the writing business” because that will forever be an ongoing endeavor.

What I’ve discovered is this – powerful writing grows from an honest seed. When you write your passion and your soul and your truth in your first draft manuscript, your writing cannot fail being powerful…to someone. Not everyone. Those “someone’s” become your market. When you write for yourself, to yourself, your truth, your passion, you come out with dynamite. Anything else is writing someone else’s book.

I never expect everyone to agree with me. Even my mentor takes some issue with my stance. That’s ok. I know what I know what I know. Your most powerful work comes from deep within. You desire to connect with other humans, you’d better be able to connect with them in a powerful way if you desire your message to impact them in a powerful manner.

I thoroughly enjoyed my presentation in St. Augustine. The audience was quite attentive, they all gave me more than just polite applause, and a good number of them walked out of the session motivated. I know this because of how many came up to me afterward and told me so. That is the best feeling for a presenter. People getting fired up about what you said and desire to dive into their manuscripts.

The unfortunate truth, however, is most will fall back into the same routines. The routines which keep them from moving their books along at a healthy pace. I’ve found that five weeks of repeating my message yields tremendous results. People need help motivating themselves. Hell, I need help motivating myself. The beauty of public speaking is that when I motivate others, in return I get fired up. There are downward spirals in life, too many to enumerate. There are also upward spirals, not easy to achieve, but when you do, there is no better feeling!

Writing truth should be the cornerstone to any work of writing an author desires to have impact. I spend weeks encouraging writers out of their fear of their own truths into the gumption to step up to their truths and make them known. The wild thing for me is this – writing your truths is simply one facet of what I do in my coaching. There are so many aspects of writing people need to learn. I could coach solely on writing truth for weeks on end. There is so much more to writing, though. That’s what makes being a writing coach so dynamic and rewarding. When my writers “get it,” I can see it in their faces, their voices, and in the words they produce.

Now THAT is motivating and THAT is one of MY truths! If you need help with your writing, contact me. That’s what I’m here for!

The following link is the WONDERFUL press release the Ancient City Writers sent to the St. Augustine Record on my behalf…


It’s a New Day

Inking Your Soul

Your book. Your blog post. Your story. Your life.

There exist uncountable reasons and ideas to write. There exist innumerable debilitating explanations as to why we don’t write. In the end, either motivation and inspiration win out, either we give ourselves permission to accomplish our desire, or we distract ourselves with life.

When I consult with aspiring writers, whether seasoned or no, I bring a somewhat counter-culture view of creativity and how to access the wealth residing within ourselves. I spent many thousands of dollars listening to talking heads at conferences who invariably would state something to the effect of, “This is how you _______.”

Fill in the blank. “Write a book. Write poetry. Organize your thoughts. Learn the craft of writing. Etc.”

On the surface, these appear as noble topics. Someone truly desires to help others write. I do not doubt a good number of their intentions. Some, more than I care to think, stood as pompous asses spewing their drivel because no one knew better than they. Of course, I’m certain some might say the same of me.

What I’ve discovered is this. There are over 7.5 billion people on this planet. If each of us sat behind our pen, computer, whatever, and wrote a book, there would then exist 7.5 billion different ways to get the book done. No two would approach every single aspect in precisely the same way.

Yes, we could assemble similarities together to form groups like the write-every-day group or the write-when-the-muse-grabs-you-by-the-throat group or how about one I’m a member of, the I-write-because-I-have-no-choice group.

Diversity. The linchpin of new, fresh work. Homogenization and repetition. The scourge and death knell to creativity and revitalization.

Our very pay structure in writing does more to squash creativity and new ideas than anything else I’ve observed. The money-paying beast desires to bring in more money and tracks trends. Do you know how many variations of the movie Ground Hog Day are out there? It’s shocking how they’ve pillaged the idea and made almost exact replicas of the movie simply to generate more income.

I do not wish to rant today on the squelching of creativity, but I feel it’s important to at least mention to you aspiring writers out there in the world to look around you. Wake up. See how we’re herded. Go counter-culture if you can. Bring us fresh ideas and new material.

Each day our eyes lift from their slumber, each day we stir our consciousness awake, presents a new opportunity to express our truth. Our vision. Our passion. Our soul.

Will you compromise your truth, vision, passion, soul, simply because someone else would not agree with you?

Then why write? This industry is likely one of the absolute toughest in which to make a living. If you must bastardize your talents along the way just to make a buck, why bother? Step into some other line of work.

Today springs upon you, at this moment, the opportunity for ideas to germinate. Passions to arouse. Fantastical dreams and hard truths and wrenching pains and farcical comedies and delicious joys simply await your head, your heart, your soul to express them in print. I urge you, do not dilute your visions for the sake of others. Rather explode your ideas, not as nuclear bombs but universe shattering bombs. Go big or go home. Gift your imagination with the respect it is due by delivering your words without apology to the page.

Make new worlds on your pages. Help usher in a new renaissance to replace what our pathetic money machine chucks out containing the same drivel in slightly different packages like literary water torture. The bottom line will always stand for me – will you tell me a story, or your truth, preferably both, with passion, fervor, and a commitment to own the words you ink. Will you stand that brave?

You own every faculty you need to write your truth. Even in fiction. The only question, truly – “Will you dare to step into your destiny as a writer?”

Please do not write what others tell you to write. Write your book. Ink your soul to the page. Fiction or nonfiction, it does not matter. Bring your life to the writing. Bring life to the writing.

It’s a new day. Ink your soul…impact your world.