HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I’m only ten days late. Still counts, right? I figured I wouldn’t do a retrospective post (it was depressing) or tell you about my resolutions (I haven’t really spelled out any though I am clearly serious about this next year as I am utilizing multiple calendars!). Instead, I’m going to do a different type of reflective post. This is something I’ve been thinking about the past month or so as I’ve finally managed to get back into the swing of balancing writing and editing despite the shiny new WiiU that’s sitting in my living room.
I’ve been thinking about what I really bring to my writing. There are multiple ways to look at this. The first thing I thought about when this question popped into me head were the reoccurring themes I’ve seen even in my play writing. As with any writer, when I notice them, I get frustrated. I mean, can’t I write anything else? Why does it always come down to this? And why does it feel so good to give in to one of those typical themes? In my case, it’s usually about a person (okay, usually a girl) who has no control of the situation she’s in. To anyone who’s read Ruin, it must sound familiar.
This then got me to thinking about my life which I’ve been doing a lot of recently. To anyone who only hears the details of my life, I sound incredibly boring. I’m not clever enough to spice up the details of my life with a witty spin. Instead I’m dead honest about where I’m from and exactly how long I’ve lived here. (My entire life. In one little town. That seems to astound my boyfriend from time to time.) Sometimes I get self-conscious about it.
Confession time- when I went to the meet-up for NaNoWriMo, we had to do one of those icebreaker games. The head guy had us write down facts about ourselves on a card and then he collected them, shuffled them, and handed them out. We had to read the facts aloud and guess who they belonged to. I blanked. I couldn’t think of anything good to share AT ALL. Nothing about myself anyway. Later on I had plenty of stuff, but even then it was mostly about my family, not me. And my card went last. Ick. I had nothing good, no one was interested. After that, I couldn’t go back, so I just didn’t.
That experience is probably what originally brought up this question I think. What exactly am I bringing to my stories? What am I offering readers? Here is my answer:
Sincerity. I keep it close to the surface, riding a thin line with every story I write between straight fiction and some alternate reality for my life. In my personal life, I’m guided by obligations that I can’t shirk. Now even more so than ever before. I think it’s because I feel this way that it’s so good to let loose in a story even when the main character is trapped in a situation they can’t escape from.
What do you bring to your writing? Or even your regular job? (Because this is also something I bring to work with me which causes trouble as much as it helps.) And have you noticed how your life ties into the reoccurring themes of your stories?