Pictures are crisp. Wiped clean and powdered with fancy dust. Polished. Perfectly fashioned.
We believe it because our eyes don’t lie. They translate as truth. After all where did the phrase “I’ll believe it when I see it” come from?
But really they are only a highlight reel. A highlight from a long period of time. One happy moment among several miserable ones. One flashy smile before the argument begins. One vacation after eleven months of pain. They don’t show the in-betweens.
Writing however is not about displaying a highlight reel. It’s about being raw, stripped down and completely honest. It’s a place where the dirt becomes the welcoming mat.
It’s difficult and it hurts to bleed that way on paper, but it is authentic. The other upside is that it can also be therapeutic. Not just for the author but for the reader too. Maybe that was always the intention when the first word was written. Or carved into stone. Maybe that was what set off the billions of words that came after it. Words that have been and still continue to be put together in so many different combinations to bring us unity and resonance.
Subtract the visuals, the façades; the show we put on. Strip them away and take a good look – we are all inherently the same. From our head to our toes, we are the same. From our fears to our desires, we are the same.
I like that writing shines the light on that. It does not hide the truth. Even when flowered, the truth lustres between the lines. It does not present a highlight reel but it does highlight the uniformity of us all.
The written word has a certain power that brushes and pictures can never paint. So to my writer who stares at a blank page or refuses to lift a pen, I softly ask that you strip down in the literary sense. Bleed. Show us your innermost thoughts. The ones you are terrified to read out loud. The ones that stretch to the deepest pit in your heart.
Write and prove once more that we are the same.