Have you ever noticed that the people who behave the worst, are the ones who fancy themselves the hero/ine in the story?
I’ve been going through my notes from a recent Writing Course that I taught. It was a deep emotional kind of writing in the genre Memoir. What really interested me, was that when asked why they chose not to publish or share their writing, that a range of people all said the same thing : FEAR. (I remember saying that too when I first started publishing).
I took the time to really look at the profiles of the characters that they had written about that they most feared would react negatively. It wasn’t the public. It wasn’t Twitter trolls. It wasn’t some overly critical readers out there in Cyberspace. No, the characters in their TRUE stories who my writers feared most were those closest to them! It was parents, siblings, loved ones.
As a result, the writers I am talking about became immobilised.
They were terrified of being called gaslighters, drama kings and queens, liars or being told that they were bringing up old secrets that were best left under the dirty carpet.
Sound familiar? I thought you would say yes.
The issue is universal and it does not only relate to writing. It’s a people issue.
As a writing coach though, my job is really only to facilitate a process, to guide and mentor, to edit and teach technical aspects. I would never push anyone to write or share that which they are not ready to do BUT I will (and did) say this:
- It is YOUR story
- You decide how you write the characters
- The ones that have a problem with their characteristics, should have behaved better
- How your truth lands is something out of your control
- But tell your story, YOU MUST
Perhaps my little pep talk has gotten you thinking? Do you have a story you want to write or share? I offer a range of writing and coaching services, which you can see on my website www.leemayimele.com
Remember, this is YOUR story and we all have a story that only we can tell. Truth is magic!