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Sources of Inspiration: Real Life

September 1, 2011

I wanted to update these past couple of days. The reasons I haven’t are more or less dealt with below. This post starts off a little slow, and perhaps even trite sounding. But I promise it goes somewhere.

We’ve all heard before that that we can best write what we know, haven’t we? (Trust me, you have.) And what should we know better than our own life’s story?

If you’re a writer (and you already know if you are), there’s a bit of story to be found somewhere around you on any day you leave your house. Then there are the big things in life that stories in and of themselves. The things that happen to you that you tell your friends about, the things you post on Facebook about, the things you only tell your therapist about, – you know what I mean. Then there’s the people close to you in your life and the things that happen to them. Then there’s the things that happen between you and those close to you. All of it is potential fuel for characters, scenery and story.

I think the major reason I haven’t posted as often as I’ve intended on this blog since I got back from my vacation last week is more or less the same reason that I haven’t been working on my novel, or any other story since then. It has honestly felt like pulling teeth (pun mostly unintended) to get myself to sit down and write the things I planned to write this past week. It’s occurred to to me that this may be the reason: there isn’t enough of me in the things I’ve been trying to write.

Now the first draft of my novel wasn’t intended to really have any basis in my real life. At least, not in any intentional, cognizant way. It could be that’s why so much of the time I have trouble maintaining my focus on revising it.

But then, I’ve never been particularly good at adapting facets of my own life and relationships into my stories. Why is that? Oh wait, that’s right…

Well, fear of embarrassing myself is one reason. (At any rate, it’s enough of a reason to include the above image that I find rather hilarious.)

Another reason is maybe, just maybe that I have an ever-so-slight fear of what my friends, or even the ninja-girlfriend will think of me if I include recognizable parts of them, or my relationship with them in a story. Even if you write stories of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, there’s a always a worry of someone close to you asking “is that what you think of me?”

I can hope that the people I know and love can keep a separation in their mind between what I write in a work of fiction and who I am to them in real life. I can hope that if I’ve done my job as a writer that no one would recognize themselves, or my own psycological profile in my work. But let’s face it, the people you know are going to try to psychoanalyze you through your stories. It’s something that I just have to get over and accept.

Some damn interesting shit has happened to me in my life. I’ve done some damn interesting shit in my life. Some damn interesting  shit has happened to, and among, my friends and family as well. I think of damn dark, weird, perverted, and disturbing shit all the time. It’s time I made better use of it as writer.

Hell, I don’t publish this blog to my Facebook page so I can hide my strangeness from the world.

So, to all my friends and loved ones who read this, just know that you’re fair game for my fiction. To my enemies, you are even fairer game.

Just try not to read too much personal stuff into it, ok?


I’m thinking maybe three blog posts a week is a good number to shoot for right now. Not too  disctracting from my actual attempts at writing fiction, and just enough to make sure I actually write something, even during an outbreak of writer’s block. Let’s see how that works out.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 1, 2011 9:12 am

    Good luck overcoming your writer’s block! I’ve gone through that a few times over the summer. Even as a passionate writer, sometimes it’s hard not to get distracted by the sunshine and barbecues.

    One of the golden rules when reading fiction, I’m sure you know, (and something that I was once told by a writing professor of mine), is never assume that the author is writing about themselves, or about anything based on their real life. This was hard for me to avoid while reading The Bell Jar, but it happens. As a writer of horror, I am constantly thinking of disturbing things to plug into my writing as well, and I have disturbed a few fellow students in classes I’ve been in, that probably think I’m a freak now. Oh well.

    Everyone will always judge us based on our writing, or on whatever else we do in our lives. It’s all good – as long as they buy my book. 🙂


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