I’ve been reading a book called My Name if Lucy Barton. The author reminds me of students I’ve taught who learned to write on their own, without much guidance or instructors telling them how to write. It’s fiction (at least I think it’s fiction), but what is most striking about the story is how honest the narrator is. She’s blunt, not fancy. She repeats herself at times, as we might if we were storytelling aloud. She doesn’t dress up her sentences or her story. It feels as if she has found an editor to remove obvious language mistakes. Even so, the clunkiness of her writing remains at times, and it underlines her truth-telling.
So here is your challenge. Write five honest statements about yourself. That’s the only rule. Let your honesty make the impression. I’m not asking you to embarrass yourself or reveal secrets you’ve kept for years. That’s for Facebook or your journal. I’m asking you to simply state five honest things about yourself that you could write about.
Here are five of mine:
…I picked up a handful of snow today and wept.
…Cooking fills up a welcome couple of hours daily.
…I take three steps forward for each two steps backward and count this as my usual progress.
…The things I write surprise me, as if someone else wrote them.
…I like to notice when happiness overtakes me.