My life has been a whirl wind of chaos. I married young…to the wrong guy of course, I had kids young…my oldest was born before I graduated high school, I traveled the world…with a very abusive husband and my work life has been a hodge podge of writing jobs that have never seemed to pay enough. To say that I have been through some crap over the years would NOT be an understatement. I often get asked…how did you do it and how on earth do you write with all that crap in your life? The answer….I simply used the crap.
Life’s bad times are literally the manure for creating a brilliant writing career. If you are a smart writer you will use the crap of life to fertilize your writing. I have heard many times over the years, as I am sure many of you have too, that it’s the pain in life that feeds the monster that is the urge to create. I think to a grand degree this is very true. It is, after all, the tough times that give us the fodder for our characters.
Personally, I use everything in my life to help me create the other worlds that I live in. Piss me off, I might actually kill you off as a character in a book. Inspire me and I will pay homage in a future book. Give me a tough time and I just might solve how to deal with you in a current chapter. Sure the names have been changed to protect the innocent and no so innocent but if you know me well enough and you are paying attention to my work you just may see yourself, or someone else you know in the pages I tap out on a regular basis.
Life is the best teach we have but it is also the best place to steal ideas from. I often read news stories that are so ridiculous that my first thoughts are “I couldn’t have written that or made that up”, that’s because life is an amazing technicolor, crap storm. Watching the planet spin around the sun is a trunk full of story ideas waiting to be penned and experience is the perfect co-writer for any type of story-telling.
So if your life sucks and you are a writer…use that. If your life doesn’t suck and you’re a writer…use that. The bottom line is that we want our characters to be as believable as possible so we need to have experienced some of what they have or are going through….imitation, after all, is the greatest form of respect for both the good and bad that life brings you….USE IT!
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