Jan 7, 2011

Home Reads: 'You are Here' by Chuck Palahniuk

'You are Here' by Chuck Palahniuk
There's the talk-therapy aspect to most writers' workshops.
There's the idea of fiction as a safe laboratory for exploring ourselves and our world. For experimenting with a persona or character and social organization, trying on costumes and running a social model until it breaks down.

There is all that.

One positive aspect is, maybe this awareness and recording will lead us to live more interesting lives. Maybe we'll be less likely to make the same mistakes again and again. Marry another drunk. Get pregnant, again. Because by now we know this would make a boring, unsympathetic character. A female lead Julia Roberts would never play. Instead of modeling our lives after brave, smart fictional characters — maybe we'll lead brave, smart lives to base our own fictional characters on.

Controlling the story of your past — recording and exhausting it — that skill might allow us to move into the future and write that story. Instead of letting life just happen, we could outline our own personal plot. We'll learn the craft we'll need to accept that responsibility. We'll develop our ability to imagine in finer and finer detail. We can more exactly focus on what we want to accomplish, to attain, to become.

You want to be happy? You want to be at peace? You want to be healthy?

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