On Telling the Truth - Writer's Digest

On Telling the Truth

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“Writing is the way I ground myself, what keeps me sane. Writing is the way I try and make sense of my life, try to find meaning in accident, reasons why what happens happens-even though I know that why is a distraction, and meaning you have to cobble together yourself. Sometimes just holding a pen in my hand and writing milk butter eggs sugar calms me. Truth is what I’m ultimately after, truth or clarity. I think that’s what we’re all after, truth, although I’d never have said such a thing when I was young. And I write non-fiction because you can’t get away with anything when it’s just you and the page. What would be the point? Who would you be kidding? Why bother writing at all? Once in a while you come too close to an uncomfortable truth, and your writing goes flat, and your instinct might be to change the subject. But this is the most interesting of moments. There is so much to be found out. You can either stare at the page and realize hot dog, this is a safe to be cracked, or you can crawl under the covers and take a nice nap.”

-Abigail Thomas, on telling the truth, and why she writes non-fiction

Read more about Abigail’s writing life here.

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