Mining your past experiences

I’m not going to lie. It’s been a difficult writing weekend. It took me an entire day to write a 2000 word scene. Why? Because it was very emotional and hard and gut wrenching. I tapped into a place I haven’t yet mined for my writing.

Why not? As writers, we constantly read and are told “Write what you know”, “Use your past experiences”, and so on and so forth. It’s great advice and if done right, will plumb the depths of your readers emotions.

It’s something I’ve found impossible to do. No, that’s an absolute lie. It’s something I’ve been unwilling to do. There have been many tragic events in my past but I’ve put them aside and gone on to happier things. Life is too short to dwell on the crap that happened before. If I dwell, new things can’t happen, and then I’m stuck in a never ending cycle of crap. I try not to let myself get too depressed.

Depression. It runs in my family, especially the women. No, that’s not quite accurate. It gallops through our family, leaving mangled, hoof-imprinted bodies bleeding in it’s wake. So I’ve been terrified to mine the emotions I know are there. I also know that once I tap those emotions, it will be like fighting through mud covered quicksand with rain beating overhead to get back to a place where I feel emotionally secure and stable.

And that’s exactly what happened. I’ve been emotionally wrecked since Saturday. Yesterday, I panicked because my story decided to “end” even though I didn’t think it should end. I think my brain couldn’t take anymore emotional slogging. I even snapped at our receptionist at the EDJ. Luckily, she knew what was going through my mind and did her best to talk me through it. She even helped me come up with a different way to work past that ending. I also posted in our local NaNoWriMo Facebook forum asking for help, which I normally don’t do. I try to keep my posts to cheerleading and encouragement only, so that shows you how bad I needed the help.

My only hope is that my readers will love the story and feel something. I’m still working on the story because these characters are still talking to me. Obviously, their story isn’t done.

For everyone traveling this week, stay safe, hug your loved ones and do at least one thing that makes you happy. For my U.S. readers, have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Melanie

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2 thoughts on “Mining your past experiences

  1. I’m so sorry it did that to you. *hugs* I’m lucky that tapping into my troubled experiences hasn’t laid me to waste emotionally. Love this sentence–“I tapped into a place I haven’t yet mined for my writing.”

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