I’m playing with an idea in my head about a writing project, folks. And it’s been bouncing around for a good while. Months. And months. But the other day, I got to thinking about the title of this post and that woman, Kathryn Stockett, who wrote The Help, came to my mind. I won’t get into the controversy of that book ’cause what I wanna focus on is that she wrote about situations and folks as she knew them. And you know she’s a divorced woman now. I don’t know if it was pending already but I have the book and it said she was married in the little bio. Well, if a divorce was pending, why say you’re married, right? I know it’s not my business but I’d like to know if her writing that book had anything to do with the divorce. I’m curious, that’s all. I know she pissed off a lotta folk in Mississippi. But let Kathryn tell it, she was writing about what she knew. And about who.
You know, Terry McMillan’s first ex-husband, not the one who came out the gay closet, took her to court for that book, Disappearing Acts. There was a movie on HBO about it. I bought the DVD and it was real decent to me. My way of saying it was good. Well, he didn’t get anything out of it. Just raised a buncha hell without profiting. Anyhow, you never know who’s gonna come out the woods and cut a fool on you when you come into a little cash. Then again, probably the same folk who’d been acting a periodic fool all along.
You ever think who’d go to acting ugly if you wrote about them? In my mind, you, as an artist, have the right to write about these folk without disguising who they are ’cause that’s who they are in your life. They oughta act right, especially if they know you’re aspiring to write professionally. Shit, if they weren’t cuttin’ up, you probably wouldn’t have nothing to write about. But. Do you want to alienate them? That’s the question.
In any case, I don’t think you should go off and do it with spiteful intentions. And what if there is no malice thinking on your part and what you say becomes the elephant in the room that everybody wants to take a whip to? Do you say no matter or write your truth with grace or grit, however your situations, or folks, have presented themselves? What do you think?