Ethics and Personal Writing

In “Ethics in Personal Writing” from Telling True Stories, Dickerson says, “To write about yourself and people in your life is to accept that, in part, you are a bastard. You must face and come to understand your own demons.”

After reading the context surrounding this quote by Dickerson and thinking about it for a while in light of glimpsing my classmates brief memoirs this week, I feel I have, at the very least, a basic understanding of what she meant by this.

When you take on the task of writing about yourself or the people around you you must be willing to dig deep and exploit truths about yourself and those people that are very intimate, personal, and sometimes ugly. If you are to be honest with yourself and your readers this means you are being open about details that may be painful to relive for you and those you are writing about and may also cause embarrassment and conflict amongst you and those people. It is a bit like getting down and dirty in a counseling session, writing down everything that comes out in that session, and showing it all to the world. You are forced to acknowledge things about yourself you may have been trying to deny, forget, or cover up and it also means coming to terms with the darker side of your relationships with other people. Writing openly is a very difficult and intimate experience. It causes you to focus intently on each emotion, situation, relationship, or circumstance that you are writing about in a way that nothing else does. In a way that can be cathartic but it is often more emotionally exhausting and takes a lot of mental work, depending on what part of your life you are sharing.

Writing like this also forces you to face problems or negative opinions you may have of others which may or may not be founded on truth. On the flip side of this you may also be forced to acknowledge how you have been mistreated or dismissed by those you love, which means admitting that some people in your life may not have truly loved you as much as you may have thought. Often times it is easier to accept that there is something wrong with yourself than it is to accept that someone you love may not love you in return, or at least love you in the way that they should, and there is nothing you can do about it.

To be a good writer at all one must be willing to be open and intimate in their words. This means you are making yourself vulnerable to others and as a general rule that is a very hard thing to do because we as humans hate not being in control and hate the thought of people seeing who we really are and rejecting us for that. However, some of us feel the need to share our lives through writing so that we can be known and that we can make an impact on other people. Some of us also process life better when we write about it and because of it, like Dickerson said about herself. There are other reasons as well, but these are the thoughts that popped into my mind due to this journal question.

(This was a recent journal entry I did for my nonfiction class that I found interesting. If you would like, tell me what you think about Dickerson’s quote in the comments)

Holes

Patches don’t fix holes. They are a cover up; A lie. What once was whole is really whole no longer and will never be again. 

Smiles and hugs don’t fix holes. They are actions that are ingrained in us from habit, but when our eyes no longer connect we are merely going through the motions. 

We care but we do not love and if we did not both miss what once was we would slowly fade from each other’s lives. 

Why do we pretend? Why do we fight for what has been shot to pieces and can not be repaired? 

I’m not sure I will ever know…

But I will keep trying to patch up these holes. I will keep on pretending because I just can’t let go of those memories we shared. 

Today Was Heaven 

I’m sure you have all noted that my favorite animal is a horse (due to my sketch post). Also, I believe I have mentioned that my favorite place to be is the mountains and that where I live is beautiful. Well, if I have not convinced you to visit here yet, just take a look at this amazing place I went to today. 

   
     

Nothing makes me more happy than to get out in God’s beautiful creation. I was just absolutely in awe at his handiwork today. The weather was perfect, with just enough warmth to keep you from freezing as you stayed still and just enough breeze to fan you as you climbed and wandered. The sky was this vibrant blue with foamy clouds swirled all throughout it and to top it all off there were wild ponies around every turn! 

The silence we were faced with once we reached the top brought about such a sense of peace I have no words to describe it well enough; and everywhere we looked we were faced with rolling mountains and vast plains. 

Grayson Highlands is just a little outside of North Carolina in a delightful little pocket of Virginia. If you ever have the chance to go I would highly recommend it. Even the drive up was amazing. You are faced with quaint towns stuck in the past, friendly locals, and amazing scenery for miles. 

I will definitely be visiting this little slice of heaven again one day soon.

So Much that I Love in One Blog

I am not sure how many of you have a Tumblr. If you want to be productive in life it is probably best that you avoid it (like how I try to avoid pinterest). However, I came across this amazing person who has posted almost everything I love in life, and I thought I would share it with you (hopefully this isn’t some kind of “no-no” on wordpress, but whatever).

Enjoy the amazingness (I’m so excited I decided to throw grammar out the window in this post as well. Bad Kat).

http://southerlywayfarer.tumblr.com/

Risk

Putting your heart out there and being honest about your feelings is always a big risk, but to me, it is far better than the ‘what ifs.’ 

If it’s yes, it was so worth it. If it’s no then you can move on knowing you tried. If it’s left unsaid then it can drive you mad with regret. 

It may be a bit cliche (and forgive me John Maher), but Say what you need to say..”

Honest Thoughts

Sometimes I think we tell others our faults and insecurities because we want to see if they will accept us despite them. We want them to love all of who we are, and since we are all so very flawed we can not really feel loved unless we know they know our darkest secrets and care about us any way.

After all, you can not have a close relationship when the fear of being known gets in the way. So we challenge other people with our honesty, moved by the unquenchable hunger to know and be known. 

“This is who I am! Do you still like what you see or have I made you want to run from me?!” That is the cry of openness. That is the cry of vulnerability. That is the desperate need of our hearts. 

Laugh! It’s healthy

When I can’t sleep or I’m struggling with too much worry I sometimes cheer myself up by watching Conan Obrien highlights.

Laughing, for me, is incredibly healing. It scares away those dark shadows long enough for me to breathe.

So, I thought I would share a laugh with you here. Enjoy.


My friends and I have decided we are going to do this warm up the next time we see each other. I’m afraid I would be the Nicolai of the group and blow it right off the bat.

When I find something funny the poker face faces a failure to launch.

Spring is Beautiful Here

I wanted to take a moment and share some pictures I took of this beautiful state I live in. If you have never visited North Carolina you should. I love it here. 

   
   

Beauty reaches out through the tree branches and whispers in the streams behind my home. 

I will always miss my wild, breathtaking Arizona, but the seasons here dull the ache tremendously.

 Now my heart has two homes.