“A writer is only good as his or her own experience.” Have you ever heard this or a variation of this saying? Well, I have and for the longest time, I was on the fence about whether it was true or not. I always believed (and still do) that a story comes from within. It can emerge from an idea or really anything. But lately, I’ve been noticing a pattern in my past writings and present. In some way, my personal experiences find their way into my stories.
This isn’t always a bad thing as I have found that making a story personal to the writer tends to tug at the heartstrings of the reader. It allows people to see the real artist.
Now, what does this revelation have to do with anything you ask? For about a month now, I’ve been attempting to get back to an old story I wrote about a couple years back. But when I came back to it, there was so much that needed to be fixed. It was certainly salvageable, but something was missing with it and I didn’t know what until just within this past week. I had been focusing so much on one of the characters and I just couldn’t understand why she wasn’t “talking to me”, that was when I realized that she and I were facing similar obstacles in our lives. This was the origin of my insufferable writer’s block. How could I write about how that character deals with those obstacles if I didn’t know myself?
Well, I’ve been working along with this character to fight through these challenges. The more I look at it, the more I can see how educational writing is. Not from the standpoint of a class you would take in school, but a class you might take every day of your life.