Archive for September 1st, 2010

Sandra, you seem to put a lot of your personal life out there for all the world to see. You publish under your real name, write about life, love, fears, kids and just about everything else in your world. Doesn’t it bother you that people have so much access to what might be better kept private?

True, not quite, yes, and no … reasons follow:

1. Because I don’t trust writers who refuse to put their name to their work, it’s long felt important that people know who I am. By not disguising my identity, I accept accountability, and given that so much of my work over the years has swirled around controversial, contentious issues that could have impact on lives, stepping up and stating clearly who I am and where I’m coming from has been important.

2. Contrary to some perceptions, I don’t actually write about everything in my life. There are huge swathes of living that don’t come under the pen because a) it’s not interesting, b) there’s nothing of value to share with readers, c) it’s not my story to tell, d) I’m saving it for a book, or e) I don’t bloody want to.

3. I find life as an open book rewarding, personally and financially. I’m a writer; opening books is what writing is about.

4. Writing about pain is cathartic. It’s neither fun, nor easy, but not only does it feel right at the time I’m spewing, I reap rewards of validation and compassion that would be hard to come by were I to sit on my story and stew.

5. I’m a cockeyed optimist when it comes to honesty. I actually feel that the more truth there is in the world, the more chance there is for improvement. Like putting a brick in the toilet, recycling or driving an energy-efficient car, writing the truth feels like doing my bit.

6. I live on an island in the middle of nowhere. It’s not like every wacko in Waco can pop by for a stalking.

7. I live on an island in the middle of nowhere. It’s not like I can cultivate a local contingent of hundreds of brilliant conversationalists to keep me sharp and interested.

8. People who come into my world understand that parts of my life end up in print. If I were a painter, I’d paint it; as a poet I poem it. Art comes from life. Send me something profound and I’ll quote you. Impress me and I’ll publicize you. Love me and I’ll celebrate you. Hurt me and I’ll whine about you. If that wraps my accountability around others who would rather not have life repeat on them, well, they knew that on the way in the door.

Nuff said …

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