Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Pinch me, I’m dreaming

How has writing changed your life, and how has life changed your writing?

by Dietrich

Writing is something I wanted to do most of my life, and since I finally got around to being able to do it full time, I’ve never tired of it. There’s a knowing that I’m doing the right thing for me. And there’s fulfillment and purpose to making up stories and getting the words on the page.

I’ve stuck to it for the past decade and a half, and I’ve never wanted to take a break from it. In fact, there’s a personal freedom about it. What feeds the drive is the feeling that there’s a story to be told.

Stories start from deep down, often while I’m still working on another one, and when they outgrow the stack of post-it notes, then they need to be told. And often I start a new one while I’m finishing the final edits of another. 

When I get into a new story, I love the part when it comes to life — the characters, the landscapes — and I’m both the creator and the onlooker at the same time. Having experimented with other creative avenues, there’s a big difference when I’m writing. It just feels right.

The whole process has me examining perspectives through the eyes of my characters. Although at times, snippets of my own life experience, my own principles and viewpoints drift into the words I lay down. There’s likely a little bit of me in there somewhere even when I’m not aware of it. Real life informs my writing; it gets me asking questions, and it starts me digging for answers. Sometimes there’s this sense of taking risks with the writing, going out on a limb and trying something different. It’s that sense of experimenting that keeps me going.

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” — Gloria Steinem

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.” — Truman Capote

When I started writing short stories I never thought about where it would take me. I did want to get the stories published, and when I started working on the first novel, there was the goal of holding the finished book in hand. But, the biggest achievement is in the doing. Sure, I’d love to write a million seller and see who Hollywood casts as the lead for the film adaptation, but I don’t get hung up on that happening or nor happening. There’s a sense of gratitude that I get to do what I love to do every day. And anything more than that would just be a nice bonus. 

No comments: