Blog Project Day 62: About Sugar…
On the way home I was polishing the first line of the post I was going to write: “The haste with which I devoured the tuna tartine I had at Le Pain Quotidien was unseemly.”
This is no longer that post. Because while I heated up the veg dumplings and broccoli from yesterday, I read my latest Rumpus e-mail from Stephen Elliott and he mentioned Sugar. And gave a link to her post that led to the creation of the “Write Like a MotherF**ker” mug. And even before reading the post, I knew that I was going to end up excerpting from that post instead.
I love Sugar. I have no idea what her faith tradition is. Or if she believes in God. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God uses her to talk hard sense and give comfort to people, even if that “sense” is at times peppered with profanity. Even if I don’t have a shred of anything in common with the situation about which Sugar is giving advice, I always walk away with something. If only an increased sense of empathy. But usually it’s some kick in the pants that I didn’t even know I needed.
By the way, Sugar’s real name is Cheryl Strayed. And she’s a literary writer. A very very good literary writer. And she’s at the AWP conference in Chicago right now. And I’m glad I didn’t go to the AWP conference because if I saw her I would: a) follow her around the conference and bookfair and possibly up to her hotel room or b) burst into tears right in front of her because I really do find her writing that moving or c) both. (Then, through the sobs and the snot, I would ask if I could interview her for work….)
Here’s just a snippet of what is a long letter of advice to a young woman writer:
[T]he best possible thing you can do is get your ass down onto the floor. Write so blazingly good that you can’t be framed. Nobody is going to give you permission to write about your vagina, hon. Nobody is going to give you a thing. You have to give it yourself. You have to tell us what you have to say.
You can read the entire post (and then print it out to hang wherever your creative space is and then read it some more) here.
And then, go on. Write (paint, sing, act, mother, teach, dance, bake, love) like a motherfucker.