Ruthlessly, Honest

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 7:45am

Earlier this year, I joined a writing group for the first time since I left my MFA program over six years ago. As a fellow writer, I too need a group to keep me on task.

I was to provide some prompts for our generative session yesterday, and for some reason, I was drawn to Abigail Thomas’ memoir, What Comes Next and How to Like It.

The title is appropriate for our times. I ended up giving our group this line as a prompt: “writers have to be ruthless.”

Ruthlessly, honest.

During our session, I wrote about my uncle, a drunk and a lady’s man, who has caused me a bunch of trouble in my life.

 I do think I must be ruthlessly honest with myself during this COVID pandemic. Demanding that I follow the rules; not complain; be kind and empathetic and demand the same from my writers.

 During this time, more so than ever, we have to be responsible for our writer self and do the work we have to do. We don’t have time to pity ourselves, to complain about our work conditions or even our menu. We need to be ruthless with ourselves. Strength and resilience.

I am teaching two online workshops for the month of May, Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We, as writers, work hard. We, as writers must be ruthless with ourselves.

Exercise:  

Take a scene, approach a character and tell us the down low truth about the characters and about what is happening.  You might encounter a bit of shame. Tell us. Take us there!

(A mentor once told me that there’s nothing more attractive than a person who is genuine. Someone who is not afraid to be themselves, to be honest. I’m asking for that!)