On Writing Fiction

“2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to.”
-Anna Nalick, Breathe (2 AM)
On my challenge post from last month, Amy commented about the way I write about things that I’ve experienced firsthand. When I write group posts, I get many comments from people (especially because I get visitors that are not regular readers of this blog on those days) wondering if what I’d written was true, or prefacing comments with, “If this is true,…” I’ve never flat out addressed it on the blog, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to address it. I guess I’ve never explicitly said it, but I assume many of my readers have figured it out. I don’t write fiction. I’m perfectly capable of writing fiction, and I appreciate reading others’ fictional pieces (though do tend to prefer “real life” accounts), I just choose not to write it myself. When I attempt to write fiction, I’m often at a loss for what to say. I don’t know where to go with it. I waiver between where the story should go. I’m constantly changing phrasing and themes and events. I’m never fully satisfied with the piece. It’s a struggle for me to find inspiration for a fiction piece.

While I still struggle with writer’s block on occasion, as all writers do, I don’t have the same problems when writing about myself, my life, and my experiences. The words just flow out through my fingers with seemingly no effort. Most of you may be surprised to know that I don’t proofread. I don’t outline. I don’t go back and add, change, or edit. 95% of my posts are written in one shot, and posted as is. I don’t work for hours, days, or weeks on a post. I get inspiration, I sit down, and I write it. I feel more genuine and authentic when I share myself through my writing. Fiction just doesn’t feel like me. I write what I feel, what I think, and what I’ve experienced. If you’ve ever wondered if something was true, the answer is yes, it is. I may tweak a detail here or there, but it’s rare that I do.

Writing is my therapy, and I’m not working through what’s on my mind if I’m writing about something that’s not real. Writing is my catharsis, my release, my way of working out all the madness that’s in my head. I have so many thoughts and they need to come out somehow, but I’m not a person whose head is lost in the clouds or whose imagination works overtime. I’m pragmatic, rational, realistic, and totally intune with the world around me. These things are reflected in my writing. I write what I know, and what I know is myself and my world.

So if you ever wondered, now you know.

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One Comment

  1. Aurore
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Oddly, I've never wondered, I just always assumed that your writing was a firsthand account of your experiences.

    I guess my question is, do you sometimes feel vulnerable sharing your life and your thoughts the way you do?

    I'm far more anonymous than you and there are times when I feel I've bared too much – do you ever think that?

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