“I’ve got to learn to walk back to the shadows of truth” — Jack Kerouac, journals 11/47
This is what I want to do as writer. There is no way to tell “The Truth” because there is only subjective truth, but I think you can get at the shadows of truth. The truth that fits my perception of the real world. The writers I most want to emulate, Steinbeck, Kerouac, Kafka, Doris Lessing, Ursula K. Le Guin,Virginia Woolf, Haruki Murakami, Gunter Grass, Toni Morrison and many others make glorious attempts at this in their unique styles. Some like Arthur C. Clark and Isaac Asimov try to walk forward to the truth, but the important thing to me is that the stories involve a passion for revealing the part of truth that the writer can see from his or her vantage point. That is all you can do as a writer. Tell what you can see and what you believe. There are writers I do not particularly enjoy or agree with (Ayn Rand, Hemingway, Dickens) who were in there plugging away at their own vision of the truth, and I respect them for that.
Most of the fiction I have written is simply an exercise in putting words coherently on the page. I want to find a way to deepen my writing into a voice that speaks the small, passionate truth of my world. To do this I need to write a lot more and think a lot more and walk back in the shadows, dig around in the painful and joyful memories, find the places that have the feeling of the real and recreate that feeling in words. I have a long way to go and lot to learn about who I am and what my life is, but I will never stop looking until I can tell a little truth about life from where I stand, mouth stupidly agape, shaking my head in wonder.