Harriet the Spy

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is (most likely not) purely coincidental.

When I was nine years old, I wanted to be Harriet the Spy. I ate tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches, scribbled furiously in a composition notebook, and called my tennis shoes sneakers. I never had the guts or the stupidity to climb into my neighbor’s houses, so mostly I just wrote nasty things about the other kids in my class.

I never gave much thought to her downfall. Her friends sucked for reading her diary, and she wasn’t clever enough to hide her notebook under her mattress. I would be more careful.

But you can’t hide a blog under your mattress. Nor can you hide it from everyone you know. On some occasion, I would like to distribute the link to this blog, and thus increase my audience of one to an audience of at least…five. Because what is the use of writing if no one reads your writing? If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears…

Am I really a writer?

My writing is incredibly personal. Almost all of the characters and situations I find myself writing about are drawn from my own life. The Emily Dickinson quote (see: Emily) was included because her words define what I’d like my blog to reflect: the truth, slanted. It’s entirely possible that you’ll find yourself in a post, sooner or later. I apologize in advance for any offense, and I’ll tell you right now, right here, that I do not intend any harm. This blog is not a journal, nor is it non-fiction. It is mostly inspired by true events, but not always. Don’t take anything literally.

A mentor of mine met with me in a coffee shop almost a year ago. I passed her one of my stories, a narrative about a girl whose roommate commits suicide. It was fiction. It was also a true story in many ways. As I tried to explain this to her, as a preface, she told me about a book called “The Courage to Write.” I’ve haven’t read it yet, but I know I should. What rights do we have, as writers, to write about people we love and respect? Or, more importantly, love but don’t respect? Where does the privacy-line lie, and who decides? I appreciate any feedback on this matter, but I reserve the right to not only use you in my stories as I see fit, but to change any details to suit my point and purpose.

Thanks, Harriet.


About mayafishsticks

Since I turned 20, it's all gone downhill.
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One Response to Harriet the Spy

  1. Flak says:

    Writing can be therapeutic. I don’t think you need any other excuse to write, and I think as long as you write you’re a writer.

    If you write interesting things and cater to an audience and market your writing, you’ll get that audience. But if that’s not your goal, what more do you need than whoever comes willingly? I think probably the most important thing is that you write for yourself—I get the feeling it’s meaningful for you. Just don’t confuse the goals of (therapy) and (having an audience). Figure out which is more important to you and then take the steps toward getting there. If it’s therapy… no sweat. If it’s audience… you’ve got a lot of work to do, work that I don’t think is particularly interesting or valuable.

    Lots to think about I suppose.

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