Getting It Right

I have been writing virtually everyday for multiple hours for the past five years.

One thing I’ve learned is that when writing about yourself, it’s hard to get the facts right. Your memory has more interpretive than factual value. So, there’s nothing wrong with rewriting an experience. It takes reflection and hard honesty to get it about as right as it’s going to get.

I think everyone has a personal agenda. We root and work in our own behalf. In writing, there’s the opportunity to not only recount the events of your life, but to analyze your biases and hopefully improve on them.

The next thing I’ve learned is that when relating personal experiences it’s important to tell them as honestly as possible, no matter how hard it may be. The moment you do, the pain of a humiliating or painful experience is released. You become a healthier person as this unfolds.

Another thing I have learned is that a writer strives for efficiency. How can I say what I need to say in the shortest, clearest way possible? Redundancy and wordiness are the greatest enemies of the writer, at least this writer. I write poems to sharpen my writing efficiency.

Last, don’t write about yourself in the third person. It’s phony . . . . Just imagine someone from your family reading what you have written one hundred years from now. This person will want the real you, not you reflecting on yourself in the third person. And will there be people who will read what you have written? Count on it.