My most recent blog challenge for my Discord Group was the question of how your life and experiences have influenced you as a writer. I think that for a lot of people, this will bring up good memories and thoughts… but for just as many people, it’s going to bring up some hurt and uncomfortable situations.
And that’s actually okay. I think that it’s important for us to realize that the bad things in our lives shape us and who we are just as much as the good things. It is all experiences that we draw on, all things that help us to grow as people and as writers. I know that I grew up in a really religious setting and I was extremely and very very much not a straight person. The trauma and pain that it caused me during a lot of my childhood was something that I draw on a lot when I’m writing situations that are similar.
It’s not just that, though. I’ve also been in some very emotionally and mentally (thankfully never physically) abusive relationships. Those situations had me at my lowest lows, to the point that I wasn’t happy, and to the point that I could have not been here.
But I still am, and the pain and unhappiness of those situations is also something that I can draw on.
There are some other things that have happened to me that influences my writing as well, and there are actually a few of them that I’m not going to delve deeply into.
It isn’t just traumatic experiences like that that have shaped me though. Falling in love for the first time gave me so much to draw on, seeing the world, flying out of the country. Having children gave me a whole new spectrum of life that I could write about. The death of my mother brought a pain into my heart that I can express through words.
The thing about life is the fact that we can make what we want from our experiences. Growing up and feeling like I was wrong, like I was a ‘quote the bible’ abomination… yeah, that’s a part of me that hurts. It’s a part of me that was miserable when I was young… but that also means that it’s a part of me that I can express when I write about topics like that, and I can put it out there for other people to read. I think if we can share our experiences and touch another person with them, make them feel like they aren’t going through something alone, then we’re doing pretty powerful things as writers.
I feel like this is a post that I could have gotten so much more in depth with, really explained the situations and how they made me feel, what they made me think, what they have directly influenced as far as the things that I’ve written goes… but I don’t really want to make it about that.
I want to make it about all of you.
Let me hear your experiences, let me know how you use your life to shape your writing and change the world around you. We all have a voice, and every voice is unique.
What’s shaped yours?