“Live honestly, write bravely.”

Live Honestly Write Bravely

“Live honestly, write bravely.”

Will we? Can we?

I listened to an interview with author Zadie Smith on Literary Friction. She isn’t on social media. Why? Because as the Internet has evolved in the last 30 years, she asserts that what we share and post is held accountable for purity, for clarity, for identification with a perspective. The complexity of our selves is hidden. We’ve all become mini-brands, rather than the complicated, filled-with-contradictions people we are.

It struck a chord with me. If I have to maintain a certain belief and never reveal doubts in public, I become alienated from my own thoughts. I drive my uncertainties and qualms underground to uphold an image.

Peter Elbow, my writing guru, recommends private writing as the antidote—a place to put your truest thoughts, to get to know your own mind again. We can give this gift to our children too. We can take time to write together. We can protect that writing from readers: no one reads it except the writer. Children and parents write at the same time, that writing goes in a private folder only for the child’s eyes (not yours either).

  • No curating.
  • No pretending.
  • No fulfilling someone else’s image of you, including parents.

In a day and time when ALL writing is publicly curated for an audience, to live honestly and write bravely means getting to know your insides again without the demands of an audience.

Try it. You may like it.

I know I do.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one.

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