A successful writer must be good at two things: lying and telling the truth. And the best writers are able to do them both at the same time.
Neil something, (check Jami's blog, Superfluous Miscellany for the citation) says it so well in his Writer's Prayer: "Lord, let me be brave, and let me, while I craft my tales, be wise: let me say true things in a voice that is true, and, with the truth in mind, let me write lies."
Isn't this every writer's prayer? Those of you who write because your heart will burst if you don't, know exactly what I'm talking about. You know what it feels like to kneel down at your bed side each night and ask for more courage to tell the truth and a greater capacity to lie.
Marianne Moore, in "Poetry" says that writers are "'literalists of the imagination'--above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them.'"
You don't even have to mull that over do you? Because you understand so well that writers have to lie, else no one will listen to the truth.
Just to clear the air before we get more serious, I lie a lot. I didn't really wear those plad shorts to the temple. And my husband didn't really ignore me when I did those yoga poses while he was watching T.V. He told me to move over so he could watch the game. But that information didn't make my point so I changed it. (phew! Glad I got that off my chest).
But you already knew that too, didn't you, because you do the same thing. And that's why I listen to you.
Here's something else I have to get off my chest. My daughter thinks blogging is stupid, my mom thinks blogging is an ugly word, and my husband wishes I'd be content to clean out the garage and steam vac the living room. When people ask me what I want to be if I ever grow up, I don't say I want to blog! I blog late into the night when everyone is sleeping so no one thinks I'm wasting time.
But we're not really blogging, are we? We're writing! We're planting imaginary gardens around our real toads. Blogs are like a playgroup for writer's. They are our playground. Skaters meet at skateparks to skate and show off their tricks with other skilled skaters. Writers meet at blogspots. Blogspots lend instant gratification to an isolating hobby/dream/skill. Nothing shameful about instant gratification.
Here's something true, but don't tell my daughter I told you because she hates being the daughter of a blogger. (People who are related to bloggers have no privacy). She made me cry the other day, (and I only cry twice a year) while I was sharing my first success as a blogger. My first feedback from a fellow writer/blogger stranger. You all remember your first? She thought I was bragging and so rolled her eyes and wagged her tongue rudely. So I told her, "I'm not a blogger. I'm a writer! I've wanted to be a writer since I was 9 years old. While my brothers were out playing flag football and my sister was sewing Laura Ashley Dresses, I was borrowing my neighbors typewriter and hauling it home in my little red wagon so I could write the New York Times Best Selling Osmond Biography." I've told her all this before, but tears have a way of driving a point home.
But then I blogged about my awkward mother/daughter relationship and I heard myself say "I'm YOUR mommy!" and it hit me that I'M HER mommy, and I should grow up and break down some doors here. So I've been trying. And last night I went into her room while she was reading and I crawled into bed with her and we hugged. We didn't giggle and gossip. She didn't spill her guts, and I didn't spill my guts, but we hugged . . . and we're best friends forever.
This wasn't what I was going to blog about this morning. I was going to blog about how happy I am because it's Friday and it's pouring rain and I have 3 new friends, Jami, Lisa and Mary, and they are all great writers. And I was going to write an ode to all of you bloggers who are really writers. But now it's 10:00 am and I need to go clean out the garage and steam vac the living room.
(okay, that's a lie).