Some Thoughts on the Process

I have no ulterior motive to become a famous writer.

I don’t want to write the next Harry Potter or Twilight.

I realized, though, that I wanted to tell my story. But my story is rather long and convoluted and messy. And because of who I am, there’s a world of random strangeness and supernaturally natural oddness that are part and parcel of my life.

But I want to tell my story. So here I am, with this weirdness of life behind me and a desire to remember it fully and allow myself the space and place to heal.

So I’ve started writing ‘fiction.’ I normally start writing my normal memories. Last year, I started a project to write memories about people I knew in around 300 words. If you’re interested, you can find those on my other blog. When you get there, you can click on either 300 words or memories in the tag list on the right hand side. As I wrote these memories, I realized that I liked telling stories, but that sometimes there were things that felt like they would be better served with some stylization and changes to account for my worldview. The stories and characters in them actually are based on real people, but then again, as a writer, I’m going to write what I know. Not what I don’t. And I know my friends and the people that have changed me. Obviously, as things get written, I try to protect them by changing their names or the circumstances. But in general, anyone who knows me and knows my friends will probably recognize themselves in someone.

So on a practical level, I write out the memories as I remember them. In all their messy, horrific and grotesque glory. I try to remember details and smells and the things that distracted me. Colours, sounds, songs, and the light. And yes, I am trying to be sensitive to the fact that my friends and family will (maybe, hopefully, i don’t know?) be reading these someday. It’s hard, because I want to be honest about who I am and how I experienced things. But I also want to guard people’s privacy. So dates and names change. Places are modified a bit. Supernatural elements are translated into common fantasy/supe metaphors and storytelling gimmicks. And by the end of the editing process, vignettes emerge. The “reality” was most likely a bit different, but the ramifications of those moments were quite significant. And that’s the important bit. I’ve got the memories in my noggin. But the storytelling for me is a process of getting at the battle behind the scenes. And in that way, I’m writing apocalyptic fiction. In the Greek, apo-calupsis means to draw away the veil. So as I’m writing, I’m hoping that the Divine will pull away the veil from the painful, confusing and strange parts of my life and help me to process them so that I can find healing and restoration. And hey, maybe in the midst of it, I’ll tell a good story or two.

It’s hard sometimes to be honest about the things you go through. Especially when they’re painful. My next post will be a painful one. But I feel like it’s necessary and part of the process. I am still trying to decide how precisely I’m going to edit it.

But I wanted to prepare the people reading it – it did happen to me. Most of these things did in one way or another.

I can really only write about what I know. So that’s what I’m going to try to do.