I guess every writer knows the Flannery O’Connor quote: “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Other variations are attributed to other writers, but the meaning is the same. We write to figure out life in general and ourselves in particular.
I don’t write memoir. The events of my life are not revealed in my fiction. Yet every second I’ve lived is recorded in my brain, and it’s with that same brain I conjure up the stories I write, so what I think must be revealed in what I write. Right?
So should I feel inadequate for not writing something deeper, something of substance? Won’t I be judged shallow or even less intelligent than those who write great literary truths? Should I be shamed for aspiring to take up space on someone’s shelf or e-reader? Do I even dare consider myself a real writer?
No. Probably. No. Heck yes!
While all the great literary minds are writing and discussing the deep truths, the lofty ideals, the matters of substance I’ll write about the fundamentals of being human. I’ll write about ordinary people and how they make it through this thing we call life—or don’t.
That’s honest work, don’t you think?