write the truth of yourself: a writing exercise by Jeanette LeBlanc

get writing: write the truth of yourself

{get writing is a brand new series of writing prompts, exercises and resources that I'll be rolling out here each month to provide inspiration, guidance and structure to your writing practice. stay tuned for more}

Listen to the audio reading:


Don’t think too much. As a matter of fact, don’t think too much at all. This is not one of those exercises that requires much forethought or preparation. You can’t back your way into this one, all neat and tidy buttoned up.

There’s no clean way to do this. Not this time.

This is one you’ve got to blast your way through – close your eyes and jump, light the match and burn on the way down, get pummeled by the waves, upside down and spitting water, freight train your way all your way through to the other side.

And by all those overused, layered metaphors what I really mean is this:

You’ve got to fucking write.

Not think.

Just write.

Get a sheet of blank paper.

Write the truth of yourself. As you know it. Right now. In this exact moment and only this moment.

Limit yourself to one page.

Fill that page. Pour it out. Do not edit or reduce or backtrack. Do not worry about being succinct or understood. Just write. Just writeandwriteandwriteandwriteandfuckingwrite.

Now scratch it out. Marker it up. Cut it. Burn it. Obliterate it.

Gone.

Get a new page.

Write the truth of yourself. As you know it. Right now. In this exact moment and only this moment.

Limit yourself to one paragraph.

Make this single paragraph sing with the hope of you, with the want of you, with the very blood and bones and guts of you. Select the lines that speak your heart. Your sex. Your sacred. Spill yourself into this paragraph as if lives depend on it. Because your lives – every last one? They do.

Now scratch it out. Marker it up. Cut it. Burn it. Obliterate it.

Gone.

Get a new page.

Write the truth of yourself. As you know it. Right now. In this exact moment and only this moment.

Limit yourself to one line.

Choose carefully the words that define you. Choose them with exquisite care. Just one line that is the truth of you and nothing but the truth of you in this living and breathing and beating moment.

One line. Only one line.

Do you have it?

Good.

Now scratch it out. Marker it up. Cut it. Burn it. Obliterate it.

Gone.

Get a new page.

Write the truth of yourself. As you know it. Right now. In this exact moment and only this moment.

Limit yourself to one word.

One pounding, pulsing, bleeding word. One word that flies or explodes or burns it all down. One words that is quiet whisper or the living manifestation of insistent howl of your bones. One word that glows white hot or grounds you into the dark blue-black of the deepest night.

One word.

Just one.

Does that scare you? Good – it should. This isn’t child’s play here.

Now scratch it out. Marker it up. Cut it. Burn it. Obliterate it.

Gone.

Are you shaking yet? Is your heart pounding? Do you feel what we are doing here?

We’re not done yet.

Now – now that that is done. Close your eyes. Take the deepest breath you could possibly take. Fill your lungs with all those words and all those truth and all that emptiness and all that fullness and the love-loss-ache-bliss of all that carried story.

Now empty your lungs. All the way out. As your breath goes, watch all those words go too. Watch them float away on the air around you. Watch them turn to smoke and get caught in the breeze and dissipate, just like that.

Feel how damn good empty can feel when you choose it.

Now get a new page. A blank page. Purest white and completely pristine.

This is all yours. This page. It doesn’t contain any of the shit they told you was true. It doesn't contain any of the shit YOU told you was true. Right now, it contains the only truth there is.

This story is always yours for the telling.

This has always been yours. You can expand to fill it all or take up the smallest corner. You can write in invisible ink. You can tell your story in red wine stains and spilled ink and bite marks. You can only write in pencil so it can always be erased. You can write in layers, and turn the page and write sideways. You can spin spiral and make your words dance.

You can ink it on the surface of your skin or x-ray vision the story onto the blank canvas of your bones. You can write a novel and then let the whole thing dissolve in the waves. You can write the truth and bury it in the ground, throw it in the fire, fold it into paper airplanes and watch it fly, roll it into a note in a bottle and toss it in the ocean and let it find its own way home.

Or, you share it with the whole fucking world.

You can care and not care and care-not-care all at once.

But you get to write. And you get to choose the story you tell.

And there’s no freedom bigger or bolder or braver than that.

Download the audio, motivational poster and printable PDF
Write The Truth Of Yourself - Writing Exercise by Jeanette LeBlanc