To Tell the Truth —

Whether one writes in a room of one’s own or in public places, the demand of what’s to be done remains the same:

…Good writing is about telling the truth.

We are a species that needs and wants to

understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem

to share this longing, which is one reason

they write so very little.

—Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is the astringent, funny, wise author of Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, one of the best books I’ve ever read about writing, right up there with Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones.

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4 Responses to To Tell the Truth —

  1. claudia shuster says:

    The recent Sunday NY Times has a section on some of the best op-ed pieces across the years. Turns out OP-ED meant opposition to the editorial point of view (which I never knew).

    Embedded there is an interesting piece about writing one’s memoirs and how hard it is to really get to the “‘truth”.. . Hope you’ll take a look and see what you think!


  2. Touch2Touch says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, Claudia. We don’t get the Sunday Times, and I would have missed Mary Karr’s piece, His So-Called Life. I’ve read some of her writing, and she’s good. And here, sound. When I was writing my own memoir, Convergence, before I would embark on my daily work session, I would say a little “prayer” to myself that I could tell the truth as best as I could do —- knowing that the best is partial, and subject to distortion. But there it is, and memoirists are stuck with it. It’s simpler when you’re out-and-out dealing with someone who’s fictionalizing memories deliberately, but concealing it, like James Frey. That could be called hustling!


  3. DJE says:

    I like E.D.’s poem “Tell All the Truth, but tell it slant.”
    and “On Writing” Steven King’s book is great — Francine Prose’s “Reading Like a Writer” I think it was called was v. good — but more highbrow. D


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Just checked out Emily Dickinson’s “Tell All the Truth…” and it’s perfect. The lady always tells it like it is. I’ll post it up front.
      Steven King’s book “On Writing” is indeed great, I was amazed when I read it how good it is, especially when you wouldn’t catch me reading one of his novels: way too scary. And Francine Prose’s “Reading Like a Writer” is excellent. She’s also a terrific speaker — and not so highbrow. With her navy blue pants suit, she wore the best polka-dot ankle socks, from Target!


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