Old Moon

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

To Tell the Truth

If a writer feels it necessary to trudge ahead regardless of past performance, or especially past recognition--or more likely the lack of it, the notion of an advanced degree, presumably an MFA, is bound to have surfaced. There was a time when I was sure one day I'd have a chance to enroll in some  program that would fill out my talent (if there were any) and lend some credibility to whatever I might write.

One of the things that is apt to take over when one is attempting to become--whatever the goal is--is that the aspirant looks to others who have reached it to provide instruction. Never mind how many scores of dollars I may have spent over the years on correspondence courses and books, the few that have been of real benefit wouldn't crowd a single shelf. A course in the history of criticism was one of the best aids to literary decision making for myself, along with only half a dozen of the many books I have bought and read. Now I'm a bit like a donkey with blinders on; I just keep plodding on.

Then, just today, a humble (well, maybe not so humble) blog once more put into a small space the most important lessons I've been able to take away from all those who have had the temerity to write about writing. It has to do with reality--with the absolute necessity--of putting out the truth regardless of its appeal or power to horrify. All writing is political, just as nearly all politics is economics. A writer who can face this at the fundamental level may turn out to be a good writer.

This is a pathetic distillation of a complex imperative, but if it interests you, stop by and read mfainabox@aweber.com.

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