Revealing the Truth

A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to – TOM BISSELL

This is a WordPress quote on writing that I want to explore. Why on earth would you reveal the truth if you do not wish to? Surely you can go back and edit. There is a certain power in writing. You can be the master of the world you create. You can form stories and characters exactly as you want them. Are we control freaks, trying to tame the world? We get to choose the outcomes, which you don’t usually get to in life. We get to show the sides of ourselves that we want the world to see. Or do we?

I suppose if you just free flow write, ‘the truth will out’ as we write what we know about, even when writing fiction. There will always be an element of what we know even if we rearrange the tiny pieces to form new stories. It’s impossible to write about rocket science or in Japanese if you have no knowledge of them. I don’t believe you have to be a great writer thought to reveal the truth. You can be any sort of writer.

The kind of truth that I think Tom may be referring to is the truth of who you are as a person, at this current moment on time. We change moment by moment as events happen and change our thinking and beliefs. If you are open to lessons they are everywhere and you are minutely changed. Whether you see the lessons or analyse them is another thing. Are you caught up in life (reacting) or observing and learning from it?

Anyway I digress. So if you write honestly and freely, your beliefs and perceptions and your personality, in effect the ‘truth’ about yourself will come out. Optimism, attention to detail, spirituality, sense of humour, seriousness, knowledge of your subject will all be shown in your writing whether you are writing a paper on molecular biology or what you had for dinner last night. The truth I am talking about here is about the writer, his personality and his mood. I like to use quotes around the word ‘truth’ because nearly everything is subjective. What I see is not what you see. I once had a job typing up interviews with witnesses to motor accidents. Everyone’s version (up to 5 each time) was so different and I have no doubt that each believed they knew the ‘truth’. I learned about accepting others and not hanging on so rigidly to my own ideas. We cannot and do not need to be ‘right’. You can believe that someone else believes something, even if you don’t believe it yourself. You can accept a sea of possibilities exists and that each are ok.

Some days you can write and write and others you may get writer’s block where you feel you have nothing. Nothing flows through you. Your heart is still. You are putting limits on yourself somehow. Are you afraid of what will come out? Have you lost confidence that what you write is going to be any ‘good’?

So back to the quote! If Tom assumes a ‘great’ writer writes great stuff, worthy of reading, thought provoking; personality, belief or even just mood changing stuff, then I think he is also assuming that the truth is great. The truth changes you once you believe it to be the truth. How open are we to what we read? How truthful do we find it? Do we look to agree or disagree with it? Our interpretation of other’s (great?) writing can reveal ‘truths’ about our own beliefs to us, even if we don’t agree with it. What we do with that information is up to us.

Food for thought. Thanks Tom

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Revealing the Truth

  1. Hey Emma! Thanks so much for the award! I’m glad you get something out of my blogs. It makes it worthwhile spending all that brain power trying to keep up with these blog challenges! I’ll put the award on my awards page, and get to the details later when I have more time on my hands. Only a few days left till the end of November and then I can do other things. Lots of love! And much appreciation for your thoughts.

    • Most welcome. Your lovely face pops up on nearly all my favourite blogs that I follow and you are my favourite of all. I really admire the journey you’ve taken out of the ‘darkness’. ‘Get something out of my blogs’ does not describe it. Wouldn’t miss them for the world Yaz!!

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