Your friends, your family, even strangers have their stories, but their truth is not always your truth to tell. As a writer and as a human being, this is important to respect.
I am constantly taking note of the dialect, behaviour, and perspectives of others. I then use that information to inspire fictional characters in my short stories or to fuel the message in my blog posts. What I want to make sure of, though, is that I do not disregard or expose someone else’s truth without permission.
Sometimes these are difficult waters to navigate – to find that beautiful balance between creative inspiration and respect. Ultimately, I can share as much of my truth as I want to, but when I tell someone else’s story, I have to ask myself: is this a journalistic endeavour where there is a clear understanding that I am the writer and the person sitting across from me is the subject... or is this a betrayal of someone I love?
The answer may be more important than you know.