We’ve all heard the phrase “write what you know” at least once in this journey of writing. Is that honestly true though? Are the stories we come up with strictly what we know?
Robert Peck is quoted as saying “We don’t write what we know. We write what we wonder about.” I find a little truth in this statement. Of course you need to research your world and your subject matter so your story and the worlds created have meaning and substance. Still, writing can be much more than what you already know, it can be about what you’re afraid to know.
As I wrote my story “Beyond Here” everything pieced itself together. It started when my little sister was in the hospital and slipped into a coma for a month. I watched her get put on a ventilator, and saw everything my mom went through emotionally. The first inkling of a story came then. For the longest time as the story unfolded I thought that was the main theme. When I finished the first draft and reread it I realized it was about what my daughter may have gone through in the divorce.
It exposed my own fears of what could come in the divorce process. Heck, it even solidified that a divorce needed to happen for everyone’s sake. The first idea came through a shared experience with my family, but it became all that I wondered the future could be, good and bad.
Stories are a piece of us. When we write we leave our heart, soul, and blood on the page. Who you are and what you wonder about, everything you are will be exposed. That is the cost of being a writer. It’s our therapy and salvation. So write on. See who you truly are and be better for it.
Until next time have a writeous day!