Friday, August 8, 2008

Why I Write: To be honest about my personal experience

I've found that I like to write stuff that draws on my personal experience.

To take an example, Run (the script I'm working on now) draws on personal experiences and problems I've had in my life, and applies them to my characters. While also being a story about someone chased by a monster!

I find I enjoy my writing more when I'm drawing on personal experiences, and hopefully it makes the writing better as well.

My biggest problem with being honest is not so much around exposing myself, because I can always use the excuse "it's just fiction".

The thing I struggle with more is that when I use an idea, I can't use that idea in the future.

Every time I write about something that is personally important to me, I'm reluctant to let the idea go. Because I don't want to 'spend' the idea, particularly on projects that may not work out.

I'm the kind of guy who likes to have another trick up my sleeve. On the Myers Briggs scale, I come out as an introvert. Which means I like to figure out what I'm going to say before I say it. And one of the reasons I like to do that is that I like to stay in control, by keeping a little piece of myself in reserve. By keeping an idea or two up my sleeve.

When I'm writing in this honest way, I don't feel that comfort zone so much. I'm giving stuff away left, right, and centre. Which is scary for me, though it's exactly what I want to be doing. I'm scared of running dry and having nothing worthwhile left to say.

Honesty for me requires a leap of faith. A belief that the ideas I give away will be replenished, hopefully by better ideas... And so far that's been the case for me. The more I give, the more I've found to give.

So the worry that the bank will run dry has diminished for me over time. And I also kind of question what I'm saving stuff up for. It's not like I'm going to get to write forever!

1 comment:

the daily screenwriter said...

There's a saying that every writer writes the same story over and over. Which tends to be true, or trueish, of just about everyone, I think. So it doesn't actually matter if you revisit an idea. It's always going to be a different angle.