writing with truth serum

I found a short story on the street here in Germany the other day, handwritten on both sides of a sheet of graph paper:

As with other compelling stories, not all questions raised are answered, and the issues explored reach the universal through the personal.

Who do “they” want the writer to marry? Why is the note written in English rather than a language more familiar to the writer? Are the names on the other side the names of the writer? Or the marriage match “they” want? Or maybe the writer’s true love? What will the writer do? How does the story end?

I doubt the author intended to write a short story. It seems more likely that she (I assume, though it could be a he) needed an outlet, a way to get the conflict outside of herself so she could look at it, there on the page, and try to get some perspective.

Isn’t that often why we write? Because we need an outlet. Because there’s a conflict we need to resolve. Because we yearn for perspective about something that’s affecting us strongly. Or maybe we’ve solved something and want to share it.

Writing is personal. Writing that speaks to others, no matter what kind of writing it is or who it’s written for, requires us to care about something enough to fill our pens with truth serum, siphoned from a place inside that may resist the prying prick of the syringe.

When you share from that place where your secret pain or joy resides, your infusion converts the reader’s blood to ichor, the ethereal golden fluid flowing through the veins of the gods.

When we read truths, we transform from mortals into gods, empowered, strengthened, and inspired to summon our own lives of greatness.


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3 comments to writing with truth serum

  • Chad

    Soapbox! Writing is, after all, a creative endeavor, and isn’t the power to create (on a grand scale) one of the hallmarks of divinity? We humans might not have such awesome power as individuals, but look at what we’ve created in the aggregate. At this juncture in history, I think we can safely conclude that we don’t always bend our collective creative powers towards endeavors healthful to ourselves or the planet that we have a symbiotic relationship to. Hopefully by stepping more fully into our roles as creators and purveyors of truth, we can change the trend, and use our collective creative force to heal the world.

    • Your thoughts make me want to start a parade, Chad (soapboxes with wheels!). Thank you for this invigorating outpouring of hopefulness and vitality. I’m with you. And it’s nice to know such lofty beliefs about writers, writing, and creativity as we both express resonate with others.

  • I can’t decide, after writing an ending that compares writers to gods, whether I need a soap box or a tranquilizer gun. (Maybe both.)