Have you heard of the Man Repeller Writers Club? Every month we pose a story idea, you write about it and then send it to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line “MR Writers Club.” We go through all submissions and post the winner on the first Saturday of every month. Ready? Let’s go.
Joan Didion famously said, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” but sometimes those stories are exactly the things that keep us from living. I can map the trajectory of my life over a mountain of disproven lies, and every time I unearth a new one, it feels like another pass to move forward. When I chose to study business administration in undergrad, I told myself it was the smartest choice. Really it was the safest. When I applied to art school after getting a business degree, I told myself I liked to throw paint around and wear chopsticks in my hair. I didn’t. When I bought a bunch of indie print magazines a few years ago, I told myself I loved the feeling of paper in my hands. I never read them.
The older I get, the more I believe that growth is simply dismantling lies you previously believed. For this month’s writers club prompt, tell me a lie you used to believe about yourself, or one you’re just discovering. It could be one someone told you was true, one society led you to believe, or just something you told yourself over and over contrary to the evidence.
Harling convinced herself she had size eight feet for years, even though all her shoes were vaguely too small. Ashley believed she was a “numbers person” all through college, until she realized she loathed them, then became a comedian. Amelia told herself she was lactose intolerant until realizing that was bullshit just this year. I’m sure you have some of your own on hand, big or small, funny or sad, so tell me about one in 500 words or less and send it to write [at] manrepeller [dot] com with the subject line “MR Writers Club” by Tuesday, October 31st (Halloween! Spooky!) at 12 p.m. EST.
It’s Honesty Month, after all.