So Brenda sent me this blog entry awhile ago, and I'm just getting around now to commenting on it. It's a fascinating take on the nudity analogy for writing, in an effort to explain why writing is hard for some people.
As I read this, I realized that I was always cautious in what I said to others when I was growing up, but over time, I've become more comfortable with both saying and writing, though are are still things people don't get to know.
As a kid, part of the cautiousness was my personality, but I think a lot of it had to do with being a PK (that's a pastor's kid, for you uninitiated in the initialisms of the world of Protestant denominations). We lived, mostly, in small towns, and everyone knew what the pastor and his family were up to all the time. So I lived a somewhat-public life. The frequent analogy is "living in a glass house," which is remarkably similar to the nudity analogy.
The point is, I think, now that I'm all grown up and blessed with receding to being a regular church member, this upbringing both taught me to be more and less private about what I say in both spoken and written forms. One realizes, when looking back at glass house living from a blessed distance, that it's not such a big deal if people know that you're going to the store, or if you like a certain kind of fruit.
Other things, of course, as one learns from glass house living, can be more damaging to oneself and others to let out, and one is naturally cautious about those. But the thing about glass house living is that one learns strategies, after years, to realize what's really important to keep private vs. what's somewhat personal, but isn't such a big deal to let others know about.
One realizes, when looking back, that this training prepares one quite well for the writing life and its inevitable need to disclose some things, but not too much. Incidentally, I also think it's prepared me for all the weird social modalities that come up through communicating on Facebook.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Nudity, Writing, and Being a PK
I'm a writer, an incurable reader, a narrative theorist, a media researcher, a scholar/author/writer/consultant, a PK, and the Queen of Soup Making. I write a lot, and I've taught a wide range of topics in universities. Along my journey I've picked up a PhD in Communication from Purdue and 2 degrees in English. I've been turning my ideas about communication as author-audience relationships into a communication paradigm that can be applied to a wide range of situations. I'm also writing a historical mystery series. I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of the Mystery and Detective Fiction Caucus of the Popular Culture Association. My MA thesis focused on connections between T. S. Eliot and Thoreau, who each wondered about how to remain still and still moving. Before I went to grad school, I spent 7 years working for a division of HarperCollins Publishers.