Saturday, April 17, 2010
And the Difference Would Be . . .
I am a fan of personal essays, autobiographies, and any works where the author doesn't hold back on allowing the reader to see the truth that is their life: both the beauty and the crap.
No surprise, eh?
I'm not posting this as a means of recommending this particular book. It's not for everyone. However, I make every attempt to read books by authors who come from a variety of backgrounds. I love to mix it up. Even if the content shocks me at times. I don't have much in common with this author - other than the fact that we are mothers. That doesn't mean I can not glean something from her life. I love that she is so honest. I love that she is transparent (whoosh - boy is she ever). I "get" this type of writing. I understand the inability to refrain from anything but honesty, and the release one feels upon divulging the information that many believe should be be locked away and never brought up in public.
It got me thinking.
Other than the fact that Ayelet Walden is New York Times Best Selling author, and, well, a professional writer, unlike myself who just dreams of being one and thus writes like mad, (or madly writes, depending on the day) are we really that different? Is our work really that different? I'm not talking about comparing the quality of the work. I concede here. She's pretty darn good. It's more the content over which I'm pondering.
Her personal essays are published, bound, and sold.
My personal essays are published, via web, and I'm not making a cent.
So, as content goes, what separates us other than the acclaim and the money?
Not much. We're both doing the same thing. Albeit, she on a very different level then my little Cuppa Jo.
Reader, if you ever feel uncomfortable with the fact that I seem to let you in on so much of myself in my posts, then you don't understand those of us who write. Or act for that matter. A writer writes. Without censor (although truthfully, I do tend to hold back - a bit). An actress, well a good one anyway, will always bring part of her true self to the role. When you see someone playing a role, and are blown away by how believable they are, know that they pulled something from their very soul and breathed it into the character you are experiencing. Well, that's how I always approached different characters. And I'll go ahead and pat my own back by saying that I was a very effective Lucy in Charlie Brown . . . just ask any family member who knew me as a young child. For glimpses of that young Joline could be seen in the character of Lucy Van Pelt when I played her years later in my 20's.
Perhaps we are a rare breed - those who desire to share so much of ourselves with others.
But book or blog, there is no difference in my material, and that of, say, an Ayelet Waldman other than the fact that you know me. I'm quite certain Ayelet's friends also had some animated eyeball moments upon reading Bad Mother. You are shocked at what I write because you know me personally. But, stick my words in a published book on a shelf somewhere in the Amazon warehouse, and remove the fact that you are a family member, or friend, or neighbor, fellow church member, or even my bank teller who now knows me as "The New Girl in Town" from my pieces in The Bridge, and I'm just another author sharing stories with you from my life.
Either you check it out of a library, purchase it, or read something like it here.
No real difference that I can see.