I often wonder how much of myself—my fears, my frustrations, my hopes—that I reveal in the books I write. I tell myself that it’s just a story and that because I’m working with a certain structure that I’m safe from revealing too much about myself to strangers. But I’m not sure that’s true!
The above meme applies to me—except, I don’t perch on the ledge of tall buildings. But I do work out all of my internal stuff in my writing, and that writing ends up on the shelves of your local bookstore a few times a year. When I look at it that way, it’s a bit intimidating!
In fact, when I starting writing books professionally, I stopped writing in my personal journal. The reason was that if I worked out my stuff on paper in my journal, there was nothing left to pour onto paper for my novels. And my writing was much better if I saved it up.
I find that it’s easier to explore my thoughts and feelings through fiction than it is to do it head on. I come at things sideways with fiction, and the things that never happened are more true than the things that have.
Writers say that their books are “a little piece of themselves.” And that sounds poetic and sweet. Maybe even a little bit sappy. In real life, it’s actually more daunting. Who knows what we give away without knowing? Everyone else gets to hide behind a nice veneer of respectability.
We authors gave that up long ago.