I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote. But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in – I was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.
There’s this poem by a Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu. It’s called To My Critics, and the last verses go like this:
It is easy to write verses
Out of nothing but the word.
It took me six, seven years to figure out that you have to be willing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You can call it fiction, make it wear a camouflage, you can embellish, add or remove to your heart’s desire, but you know what’s true and what’s not. And deep down inside, on a mere subconscious level, the readers know it as well.