Yesterday I referred to an article by Leslie Epstein, which ran in the March/April edition of Writer’s Digest. I was feeling very emotional over Epstein’s suggestion to forgo my beloved three dots…in exchange for a double dash. This made my heart bleed.
Today, I want to refer to another one of Epstein’s suggestions. He stated in the same article: “On political correctness: No one likes to think of himself as meanspirited, but a few of you will be, and a large number of great writers have been. You have to go where your cast of mind, your sense of style, and above all the logic of your story take you. If you are going to be looking over your shoulder because you fear you might hurt someone’s feelings you should think seriously, after accountancy of becoming–well, let’s say a violinist.”
WOW, did this ever hit home and strike a chord on my violin strings! I am constantly looking over my shoulder, as I write. I will often start thinking about the people in my life who will possibly read my prose and take offense. I spend way too much time worrying about readers, instead of concentrating on putting the story on paper and getting published.
The current novel I am working on, Broken Soul, is a prime example of the second guessing I constantly do. The story is based on my childhood traumas. It is 85% truth, but I am introducing a hero character who will save me from my own path toward self-destruction. Some people know about the atrocities I suffered growing up, but many of my friends don’t. Hell even family members don’t know the full extent of what I endured. This is making writing this epistle very difficult as I struggle with blocking out of my mind those critics I know will try to persecute me when my book is published. It will be extremely difficult for the older daughter of the people who raised me to hear some of my tale. But it is truth and it is MY truth and I now know after reading Epstein’s article–that I must persevere and write the story how it happened and not try to cushion the events to protect others. I am a writer after all and I must above all be true to myself.