Life changes how we write.
My gorgeous daughter has left home. Flown away to far off places to live and work for an indefinite time. Taking a little piece of my heart with her, and no doubt changing my psyche in her absence. I suspect, in some small part, changing the way, and how, I write too.
The day-to-day shift in family dynamics and altering circumstances shake up complacency, and our attitudes and perspective. Make us work to a different timetable, with a different mindset, and a changing view.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately how changes in life impact on my writing. Some positively, some not so. Farewells, comings and goings, family changes, heartbreak in losing a beloved Mum, and other treasured friends, weddings and funerals, foreign travel and living briefly abroad have all shaken up my world, my mindset and views over recent years. These changes have altered how I go about writing, and what goes into it. I believe the small, as well as the deeply life altering, events and emotions in our lives feed into the rich database of a writer’s mind to draw back on later or filter through into our stories. I notice the power in some of my more recent writing reflecting this. I can tell where certain emotions are drawn from, though did not consciously do so at the time. Perhaps it was my way of writing through some of my emotions and experience. I never considered I was doing any such thing until musing after receiving some valuable feedback from my critique group.
I pretty much knew where my novel was heading from the start, but, after the critique reports, I realise how death and grief have become pivotal themes. Not my original intention. Is it because so much of my personal emotion has fed into the storyline? Whatever, it has resulted in an unnatural number of deaths within the manuscript. I’m lucky I can play God now and resurrect some of these hapless characters who’ve suffered sometimes horribly, needless deaths.
I wonder too, do life changes and events alter our unique writer’s voice? Not those voices contrived to fit a character but our natural narrator voice.
Grief certainly changes us, but I find it interesting to wonder how much life’s general happenings inform on our writing and change the writers we are too.
Do you think you’ve changed the way you write due to happenings in your outer life? Have they altered your writer’s voice? Do you pick up on aspects of your life feeding into your stories without you intending them to? I’d love to know if change has impacted on your writing. Please feel free to share by leaving a comment.