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!
And then a notification in my Inbox caught my eye, over a million other less important emails. I stopped everything! My heart said “yes that’s me” so many times I had to stop counting.
The fear was never about the people I don’t know or the people who I “sort of know”. The FEAR was what the nearest and dearest would say. I made excuses – I don’t have the time while taking on extra stuff that meant nothing to me personally, I am not that good at it, it’s just for me!
They knock on the door with every piece of work and there is a lot of self-talk. “So and so will think I am overstepping” is a regular fear I have to overcome. I stop, re-read and decide “Nah, this is my story press the damn button”. Thank you, I loved every word, I connected and my spirit wants to open the next blank page in my book to start writing a new piece! I think I have said this before but I am going to say it again, you are such an inspiration!
Your warm and open heart is your biggest gift. I, for one, am just so grateful to be on the receiving end of your love and compliments.
As for your writing, you sure have a talent for it and that coupled with your “press the damn button” attitude is a deadly combo.
Oh my goodness! Lee I feel like you just SPOKE directly to Me in this post!
You are right, the story is the writer’s and as such they should have the responsibility to write as they want and need.
My sentiments exactly! I am proud of you for having the courage to publish and we are here to support you in every way.