“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
I make it a point to do this every day. Everyday tasks make up a person. I’m not trying to be a writer. I just like to write. It’s that simple. Sometimes it’s content related. Often it’s in my journal. Many times it’s a text to a friend. My goal is to write the best and most honest thing I can.
This is difficult, sometimes painful, sometimes it sucks, sometimes it’s beautiful, sometimes it’s agonizing but it’s true and pure, and sometimes–sometimes— just shy of brilliant.
“After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.”
I believe that being a good at anything in life is about more than mastering the mechanics of the craft. It’s about the ability to tap into that visceral part of yourself that you’ve been taught to hide from the world. Writing is a device that can teach you more about yourself and what the world has to offer then any other art.
Great writing has to come from a real place; it must be dredged from the depths of the emotional well. Which is like having mosquito bites on the middle of your back. It itches like a mo-fo and if you’re not flexible enough to reach it- you never will. That’s why writing requires exercise.
Mr Hemingway was exercising up to three bourse a day to keep his writing at its best. His best writing came from what had thought about while exercising. This routine triggered him to write. It sent the signal that, yes it’s time to write and write well at that.
“I believe that basically you write for two people; yourself to try and make it absolutely perfect; or if not that then wonderful. then you write for who you love whether they can read or write or not and whether they are alive or dead.”
- Earnest Hemingway
Writing to someone is invaluable. If my writing sucks it’s because I wasn’t specific to whom I was writing for. Right now, I’m writing for the person who seeks desperation to change. Desperation to feel like their thoughts matter. Desperation to get over the constant thinking and to take action.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
That place isn’t immediately accessible. It’s closed off behind the various doors of your mind, kept hidden within the innermost piece of your heart. This is the part of you that is the most you, the kernel of who you are.
Getting to that place is difficult. This fortress of your heart is well-protected: the doors are thick, the guards wary, the mind has subconscious tendencies to over power the conscious.
Slow care, steady climb. That’s how you breach the walls. Breach the conscious.
To do this is daunting, to say the least. To do it on command seems impossible. Yet, like anything else, vulnerability is a skill that can be learned.
Just as an actor learns, through years of honing their craft how to access their own emotionality to bring life to a character, a writer needs to learn to do the same.
So the daily practice is about forcing yourself to get to that place consistently; and, as a result, teaching you to access it more easily.
And so, every single day, at some point, I write my Hemingway Sentences to give me my conscious power to over come everything that’s standing in my way.
All these walls are conquered through the ACTION of writing them out.
I’ll say it again. I don’t set out to be a writer. I just simply write.
The Hemingway Sentence is about making it perfect from the start. It’s about agonizing over every word, selecting the right punctuation.
The goal is to write something real, true, and meaningful — in the most gorgeous way possible.
It’s about a truth only YOU know. And accessing that truth makes you better.
My Hemingway didn’t say to write the best sentence you can. He said to write the truest.
Write about something you’re feeling. Something that’s affecting you in ways it couldn’t possibly affect anyone else.
By practicing this daily, you get to dive into the well and dig around, which, over time, teaches you how to access that piece of you.
The Hemingway Sentence can be anything. Certainly, it can appear within an article you’re writing. More likely, it’ll be in a journal, or on the back of a napkin, or in the notes of your phone. Something real, and true, and pure. Never intended to stand before the eyes of others.