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Friday, 16 December 2011

When the Writing Comes Alive...

Hey, it could happen!!! (source)

Have you ever read something you'd written a while back and were shocked to discover parts of your life weaved into the story? I bet you have. In fact, I just did. And here's the story.

For the past couple of years, I have felt somewhat lost. Nothing I cannot fix in long-term, but it's a very frustrating place to be after a while. So much so, my writing has suffered the worst of it. Instead of completing the book I started in the Spring of 2010, I let it sit and collect dust for too long.

Until I decided to revive it. I suspect there's another reason for my unwillingness to dive in, and that's because I was in a very difficult place, emotionally, when I was writing the book. Basically, I was in Hell, and I suspected some of it had spilled over into my writing. Of course I wouldn't want to relive it!

But now that I'm over it, more or less, I have decided to go back there and take whatever I was afraid of... head-on. I was reading page 110 today and I reached a part where my protagonist - basket case that she is - had it rough. Working a horrid job, stuck in a loop she cannot escape, being in a place she doesn't belong, her plans and dreams all failing one by one... it's a nightmare (much like my life). 

So she has a nervous breakdown (and the meds she was prescribed didn't help any). And just when the annoying inner voice is supposed to start talking and bashing her, to help her snap out of it... I hear that voice speaking to ME, not the protagonist. It's basically saying... How could you fall for him? How could you admit it to yourself? Are you happy now that you've ruined your friendship? And on and on.

At first it was shocking. I mean, I could have just subtly masked these words as part of the story, but I didn't. I must have been so angry with myself that I had let the full force of it hit the pages. No wonder I didn't want to read this whole thing before I was ready. And how do I feel now? I feel fine. Because I'm over it.

What is more, I found a neat little passage at the beginning of the next chapter, which summed up this whole experience for me, and so I'd like to share it with whoever's reading this. You know, just to bring some perspective into the mess.

Sometimes the sequence of keys one presses on the keyboard ends up sounding like music.

Much like a composer, I scrape off words from the top of my head, most old and ripe, some very fresh and misshaped, but they all somehow magically find their way to the story they're telling. Or maybe it's my fingers that know the way. Either way, I'm happy to be sitting here and hearing what these fingers need to say.

And even if it hurts, I'll accept it. 

The last sentence hit home. I don't know why I suddenly needed to bare my soul on my blog, but I know this: I am grateful that I've had the experiences that I've had, and I'm happy to share them with others who might have gone through the same. I like to feel that I'm not alone in this...

So has YOUR LIFE ever spilled over into your writing? How did it feel to read those words later?