"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thinking about writing

I was thinking…

I’ve thought for years about writing, but the most I’ve accomplished is on this blog and in private journals over the years.  I’ve shared my life with you all, being as honest as possible through many life events.  I’ve thought that at some point I would write a memoir, but now I’m thinking that I already have.  This is it.  This is as absolutely honest and divulging as is possible. 

I slept late this morning and when I woke up I turned the television on, leaving it on whatever station it was on last.  That means that when I walked back into the room it was on ABC and The View was on.  I don’t typically watch that show, but I was only half paying attention anyway.  (This girl can’t really pay attention to anything before her first cup of coffee.)  Then something caught my attention.  They were talking about social media and how it seems to have sparked a trend of over sharing.  I agree.  Not only do people feel the need to share every moment of their normal lives, but they often divulge things that perhaps shouldn’t be shared.  This extends to general media, from magazines to television to books.  Everyone thinks they can write these days.  More than that, they have to have something to write about.  People are, more than ever, sharing secrets that aren’t theirs to share.  For example, Jenny McCarthy has written multiple books about her son.  He’s had health problems all his life and she has taken it upon herself to shout it from the roof tops.  I think that it probably started out of genuine concern, but over the years it has been revealed that a lot of what she was yelling about was inaccurate.  In my opinion, she was often preaching on subjects that she was not qualified to preach on.  On top of that, her son is going to live the rest of his life knowing that his childhood was not just his own.  I’m not sure that is fair to him, or to anyone who we, as writers, put into the spotlight in the name of sharing ourselves.  This is right along with what I’ve been thinking about lately. 

This takes me back to my own writing.  I’ve shared my life on this little blog.  However, it is impossible to completely share one’s story without sharing the story of others.  I don’t think that is my place to do.  It’s life, y’all.  We are all perpetually influenced by the people and circumstances that surround us.  Our parents, siblings, friends, coworkers, etc.  Sometimes these people are so entwined in our lives that it is impossible to share our own lives or express our own feelings without sharing parts of theirs.  See what I mean?  I’m not willing to step any further than I already have, out of respect for the people in my life. 

So here’s what I’m thinking… perhaps the reason people write fiction is to share what they otherwise cannot.  I could write fiction.  Writing is therapeutic.  I NEED to write.  Sure, some fiction is just that… fiction, but maybe a lot of fiction is only reality under the veil of a slightly different story.  We can’t write what we don’t know, so all authors must have at least some connection to or understanding of what they write.  Right?  Take what you know, research new things and weave a story of fictional lives that portray things that we all face in our real lives.  Make some stuff up, weave in threads of what I know too well, tell a fictional story with the emotion of a person who is living a very real life… I think I could do that. 

Does this make sense to anyone but me? 

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