Sincerity, In Life and In Writing

8 Sep

Sincerity.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  It’s an undercurrent to my actions, a silent stream in my mind that suggests words when I have conversations.  It’s the little green leaves that grow up through cracked sidewalk cement, the stuff that reminds you that life can be cold and hard and rigid, but beauty does, indeed, exist.

It’s what makes your friends your friends, and not just projects who serve to better you in some capacity.  It’s what you are when you accept yourself, flaws and all, and remove yourself from the game of I’m perfect, a game where you are always the king nearing the wrong end of a checkmate situation, trying to wield your power, avoiding the reality of weakness, and finding yourself roaming in circles.

It’s saying what you mean, not just what you think you should say.  It’s hearing what others say, really listening.  

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in my life, lately.  I see too many people accidentally fall into the trap of acting like they think they should, rather than being the people they are.  They give answers they think people expect, get jobs they perceive others perceive as acceptable, make decisions based on general consensus rather than actual conviction.  I know this, unfortunately, from firsthand experience.  

The past few years have been some of the best of my life, because I’m finally growing into the freedom of being myself.  I’m finding this freedom is important, especially when it comes to being a writer.  People-pleasing and fitting a cookie-cutter mold is inherently opposed to life as a writer, I think.  By nature, writing is time spent on something that doesn’t (at first, if ever) yield monetary fruit.  Writing requires perspective, which requires actual thought.  Plus, you have to be at that point where you understand, ‘I have opinions.  So does everyone else.  Therefore, it stands to reason that not everybody sees how I see.’  Furthermore, you have to add to that little mantra ‘…and that’s okay.’  

It’s so much more fun to be real than it is to be fake.  More satisfying, too.  It’s not always easier, but it is less complicated.  Ironically, don’t you think it seems more people are ‘pleased’ when you live sincerely, rather than when you live as a people-pleasing?  

Stephen King writes, in On Writing:  “The key to good description begins with clear seeing and ends with clear writing…”  I think this is a good example of sincerity as it applies to writing.  You see clearly, you translate it clearly.  No muddling it up with what you think it should be, or what you think others want it to be.  Just write what it is.  And let what it is come straight from you, the sincere you.

Thanks for letting me think on this publicly with you guys.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on what it means to be sincere, whether in regards to your writing, your life, or both.

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7 Responses to “Sincerity, In Life and In Writing”

  1. Patti Wednesday / 9 September 09 at 11:17 am #

    I agree that’s important to be real. It’s hard sometimes to put your real feelings into and write what it should instead what you think others would like.

  2. joyofdawn Wednesday / 9 September 09 at 9:56 pm #

    A people pleaser… Sometimes I wonder if that is what I am and if that is how my characters turn out. This one doesn’t want to upset that one. Most times I find it hard to hurt a character.
    That is when I have to talk to my sister. She knows just how to go about torturing the poor guy/girl! 🙂
    I’ve never read a Stephen King book before but I do enjoy finding keys to things. The one in your post was very insightful to me. Thanks for posting!
    P.S. I never noticed all the S’s before. That is funny! I do that with character names I use a lot of J’s. Then I desperatly try to avoid that letter, it doesn’t seem to work. Sometimes I find myself in a rare moode and surprise my sister with a different name.

    • owlandsparrow Thursday / 10 September 09 at 9:25 am #

      Hey, it’s good to see you on here again! I’ve missed reading your posts. How’s the writing going? It’s funny you mention it being hard to hurt a character…I used to feel the same way. I wanted them all to have bright, sunny, lovely days and never feel any pain at all. Then I realized, they stay boring, without depth and without growth, if they never have to face trials and overcome them. Same is true with life, though trials are not particularly desirable, they do always give us character and if we’re lucky, we grow from them.

  3. Merrilee Thursday / 10 September 09 at 6:12 am #

    Lovely. I thought your opening was almost poetic, and so true! I strive to be honest, but sometimes you give the little white lies, in actions or words, because it’s easier. But don’t you feel lessened by it?

    Very thought-provoking post!

    • owlandsparrow Thursday / 10 September 09 at 9:32 am #

      Hey, thank you. I guess my own thoughts felt provoked when I wrote this. I’m glad you liked it, and that it made you think, too. Ah, the little white lies…I try not to tell them, but you’re right, it’s sometimes easier to tell them than come up with tactful, true alternatives. Lessened is a good word for that feeling, I think, a feeling I don’t really like to feel.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. So Many Posts Start With S. « Owl and Sparrow - Wednesday / 9 September 09

    […] Posts Start With S. Just something I noticed.  I even told myself last night, when I wrote my latest post, that I could not start the title with an S. […]

  2. One Whole Year! « Owl and Sparrow - Thursday / 3 June 10

    […] On sincerity, in life and in writing […]

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