Look up at the header. There it is, right there in print: The 60/40 truth split. It's not that I lie here (hell, I write fiction. I lie all the time. Sometimes it's a relief to tell the truth!) But I don't tell the whole truth.
Mark wrote a post recently about fans mistaking writers for their characters. There's no question I've been mistaken for qualities I don't have by people who don't know me well. I was asked in interviews and by a couple of acquaintances about Chere's "exploration" in QUENCHER and if such a thing ever came up for me. In other words, was I writing from experience?
I'm not much like Chere. This is not to say we have nothing in common, but she is not me. (Actually, I didn't even invent her - she came from my partner.) And yet, it's a question I've seen a few times, even regarding my male characters. Some of them definitely have traits from people I know, and share a few traits with me. I sometimes take on their characteristics when I write, too, for a short while. Bits and pieces, maybe.But they're not me, not all of me, anyway.
Hell, this blog isn't even all of me.
I guess, as I commented on Mark's post, this has more to do with my creating a "professional image" for myself. One thing I thought about when presenting myself to the world online lo these many years ago was what I wanted to present, exactly. So I had to draw some lines around what I counted as acceptable and right. What you see online or even in person when I'm working a conference is not all of me. It comes from me, so it hopefully feels genuine. (I had a friend who knows me well tell me it is. She was talking about my FB posts, which she called thought-provoking, and she said they were probably even more so because she knows me well.) But she recognizes it's not ALL of me because she knows me. There are parts of me I definitely keep private.
I don't think it's all that different than the work face many of us put on, but I liken it more to rock stars (like I said before, I idolize and identify with musicians). Take Bono, arguably the most famous rock star in the world. He has a jetsetting, creative image, rightfully so, but in a recent Rolling Stone he apologized for being late for the interview because he had to get all his kids off to school by himself as his wife was out of town.
I mean, really? Really?? Think about it. Have you ever pictured Bono getting cereal out for kids and making sure they've got all their books and homework done and "don't forget, you have piano later..." and "After school you are picking up that room, buster!" Do you even want to? Nah. You want to imagine him rocking it out onstage, talking to Nelson Mandella, noodling a new song with The Edge, or at a fancy party staring down admirers through those colored sunglasses he always wears.
Likewise me. I do some cool stuff, snowboarding and lots of concerts. I write for a (very nominal) living. I drink a beer now and again. (Most often again.) But I don't think my fans (all two of them) are all that interested in the minutia of my life. I'd rather have them imagine me pounding my brilliance into the keyboard and partying with rock stars than asking my husband if my butt looks fat in these jeans.
Okay, I never do that.