Every writer lives two lives—the real-world life and the fictional life. The real-world life is boring but moves fast, the fictional one thrilling but often progresses very slowly. At least for me. Up until now this blog has focused on my fictional life—the world of my characters and story. But now that I’ve started submitting to publishers and agents, I’m spending less time writing more time in my real-world life. And I’m beginning to realize how cool real life really is.
Since I started this blog, I’ve lived in three different places, been in ten different countries, hung out with refugees in detention camps, cowboys on the prairie, and gangsters’ kids in the ghetto…you name it. If I could distil all my wild adventures into a coherent set of stories I would be a master indeed. And yes, I get tired of hearing, “Wait, you’ve been to [fill in the blank]?” (add an amused or disbelieving stare)
Yes, I have, and guess why I write. I write out of my experiences–not about them, but out of them. The beauty and magic and mystery and heartbreak of life forces me to write, to somehow explore it. Maybe make sense of it, or maybe just lose myself in wonder at the mysteries I won’t understand until, as 1 Corinthians says, we “know even as we ourselves are known.”
So from now on, you might find me posting about being a clown at a family fun night, or shoveling snow all night for 12 hours straight, or a kindergarten student asking me what a gallows is. (“If they just hanged Haman from there, then how did he die?”)
I hope you won’t mind. It’s all part of my writing—real or fictional. It’s part of me.
How does your real life inspire your writing life? Is there anything you see in your writing that is a product of a real life experience you’ve had? Please comment below—I love hearing from you!
In all of life, but especially your creative endeavors, remember it’s about the journey, not the destination.
“…to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson~