What makes honest writing? I'm obsessed with this idea right now, and yes, I'm accessorizing this pontification with a snowboarding picture because I only seem to understand purity and clarity and other virtuous adjectives when flinging my corporeal form up a rock wall or down an icy mountain. Yeah, I guess that's my church. Thanks, Maren.
Gaaaaaaaaaze at the crystal navel. It's 2019. Everything is crap, except it's better than ever, and I don't mean that in the Louis CK "everything is amazing and nobody's happy" kind of way. I mean it in the "everyone thinks the second coming will happen in their lifetime" kind of way. Human nature is stagnant. iPhones have three lenses, but men have been waving their dick around at college parties for centuries, all the way back when "college" was "fire circle" and it was the village elder going "eh, deal" instead of the New York Times. Whatever. Jesus will take dogs and Greta Thurnberg back with Him. I guess that's his church.
Honestly (ha) though, it's simpler to purify your spirit through physical effort. That's probably the most Protestant thing I've ever said, but it's true (ha!). When honesty is sweat and labored breathing and razor focus, there's no opportunity for question. When honesty is words on a page or verses in a song, the gauze of faux self-effacement settles in like a thick fog. You can craft it (punk rock integrity!) or fake it (money!) or ignore it (even more money!), but it's still there. The only exceptions are teenagers, anybody truly grieving, and the 1% of veteran writers.
I've had this argument so many times with so many people. There's no exacting standard. There's no such thing as "good." There's no such thing as "honest." Everyone has something to offer. But I don't believe it. I like my whiskey neat, and I like my creative ideals just as guaranteed to give you an ulcer. Okay, maybe I believe it a little. I do like ice in my whiskey sometimes. Maybe everyone does have something to offer, but what that really means is that anyone can find what they're looking for in anything. If you snap on the two and four, now it's a Nashville hit!
Anyway, this is really cranky, but I'm actually in a great mood. There are plenty of honest writers out there. They are the ones that don't obsess over shit like this.