Saturday, 30 August 2008

Surface deep…

Okay, so the theory is you write what you know – so that means you write what you are - what you think, what you believe. I had this dream last night and I woke up thinking – that would be good in a book. Then I stopped and thought – no, that’s too close to my own life. Too personal. Too deep. I try to avoid doing either in my real life. I am a surface skimmer. Should I or could I put something so personal in a book? Do I ever put that sort of stuff in a book? Hmmm…not sure because I am so good at the avoidance of personal stuff that I no longer know. Then I couldn’t sleep thinking about that and writing and are we really what we write? Or do we hold stuff back to protect ourselves? The conclusion I came to? Yes…and no…and I should have taken a bomb, a sleeping pill.

Every insecurity and fear that my characters have I have or had. I know what it is like to be perceived fat or ugly or weird. I remember how that cuts deeply into a person. I say ‘know’ because I don’t allow it to cut me any more. I have fortress walls up that stop that happening. It’s the old ‘bullets bounce off me’ thing. But I know and have lived those feelings. I know you have as well – maybe different in texture – but we have all been there, done that and toughened from it.

So, I am my characters to a point. They have my beliefs. They are smart arses who manage to get in and out of trouble. They make a mess of their love life and manage to usually sort it out…sort of. Writing is considered a passion but should you pour every ounce of your passionate self into a book? Is it better to hold stuff so back? Does anyone really ever write what they know? If 90% of you is in a book, why not the other 10% ? Is it too scary? Too sad or are you just protecting your arse? Don’t you wonder about the famous writers and their books? How much of that is their life?

I think it’s the cold meds making me so deep-ish…little blue pills will do that to you. My wise Editor gives this advice -

Write what you are burning to write, what you are passionate about. That will produce your best writing -- Ed.

I think write what you have to for whatever reason you must and never run out of chocolate. If you do run out of it then maybe it's time to stop.

That’s it from me…I am absolutely
knackered, rooted, stuffed – all Aussie for bloody tired…mainly of painting. I have decided I need a man so I can point to stuff and tell him to do, fix, paint…cook dinner…now go home until required.

Have a good Saturday
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


barbara huffert said...

My characters are all me. But they, at times, take the paths I have not. I write so they let me get some sleep.

Anny Cook said...

The deepest part of our writing is from the deepest part of ourself. If it wasn't our readers would know we're false.

Regina Carlysle said...

I think bits and pieces of ME are in everything I write. As a writer it's important to be authentic. I also borrow visible traits and personalities from others I know. Can't really help it but this is what I know and see. Don't forget that Writers are observers who take these bits and pieces to create a whole new character.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Ack. Painting. Got more of that to do here too. Men are useful for the cooking and car repairs and such. Also for getting things off high shelves. Mine continuously destroys every stepstool I purchase for the kitchen. I believe it is a ploy to keep me dependent on him. Much more interesting than the idea that he just runs into things with his size 14 feet.

Ashley Ladd said...

Good question.

There's almost always some little part of me in my books. None of them have a big portion at once. If you knew what to look for, you might piece me together if you looked at a conglomerate of all 40 something of my works. The one coming out in October 08 is based on an experience I had when younger, one I thought would never come out in a book. But then I changed my mind. This stuff happened at least 30 years ago now, so it's such a big deal to me anymore as it once was.