You can run out of “clever”, but you can never run out of the truth

Steven Barnes and wife Tananarive Due on beach.That “When We Were Young” panel at WC was terrific, and when social issues arose, the inevitable “what should we write for the kids?”   came up.  My answer is simple, but a lifetime of work:

There are only two things philosophy deals itself with: who am I?  and What is true?

And there are only two things to write about: what are human beings, and what is the world in which they live?

Your beliefs about humanity are displayed with every line of dialogue, and every human action: “people say things like this, act like that, respond as the other.”    Your view of the universe is displayed in plot twists and turns: the ways the universe responds to the actions of your human characters.  

“Art” is “Self” expression: the revelation of the deep, true humanity expressed through craft.  Therefore, your task is to learn your craft deeply (craft as the language of utility and communication) and then sharpen your perspective, so that you have something to say.  The illusion that you have nothing to say arises from the false ego: you have tried to be like other people to the point that you’ve worn off your “sharp edges” and individuality.   The truth is that an eleven year old who can tell the truth can educate a ten year old–and remind a fifty year old what it felt like to be a kid.  Both being valuable things.

So your task is to learn craft, have a perspective, delve deeply into the question of who you are, create a theory of existence that you can express in your art either consciously or unconsciously, flowing with your life such that you don’t really THINK about these things, but rather FEEL your way through it. But you know something?  Most of the people I’ve met who seem to just “flow” through their lives, or art, have encyclopedic knowledge of their fields, such that one is forced to conclude that the way to freedom is through the valley of discipline.

Know yourself.

Know your world.

Know your craft

Commit to telling the truth.    

Don’t try to be “clever.”  If you are clever, it will emerge naturally.  The reality is that you can run out of “clever”, but you can never run out of “true.”

The work lies just ahead.


For almost thirty years, I’ve developed the Lifewriting approach to blending story, myth, art, and our personal lives. When I met Tananarive, I saw that despite my attempts to be balanced, I had an unavoidably “Yang” approach to my existence.    When the two of us teach together, we have both sides, and a closer approach to the truth so difficult to express in language. The LIFEWRITING TEN WEEK home study course is the purest expression of this teaching, boiling over a century of writing experience into a few months of directed study–the most fun you’ve ever had having your eyes opened.

Tonight at Midnight, our special offer: half price, LOADED with extras worth more than the price of the course, and even a FREE personal consultation with me…well, that offer goes away.  Please…if you have ever thought that you wanted to experience our approach to writing, and the writer’s life, take this opportunity.  If you know anyone who you believe would benefit from this experience, pass this link to them NOW.    There is no risk. If you don’t agree the class is worth far more than the investment, we will happily return your money.  

But…do yourself a favor and take a look at WWW.LIFEWRITINGWORKSHOP.COM.  Tomorrow the deal is gone.   I am serious about this: if I didn’t have this information, I would happily pay ten times the cost to have it.  

Write With Passion!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s