Friday 29 April 2016

Writing Words - Writing From Personal Experience

My new WIP has been playing heavily on my mind this week. Mainly because I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing by writing it.  It's YA and deals with subjects that I've had personal experience with through my own daughters as well as their friends. Over the last two years, I've collected their stories alongside their tears, embarrassment and pain and amalgamated them into one. The experiences we felt personally as a family have left a mark,  and even though we have moved on and they didn't cause any lasting damage, they still feel flammable inside my head. The closeness we have to these situations makes me feel like, as my mother would say, I'm "airing our dirty laundry in public" by writing about them. 

  The words flow quickly because so much of it is based on truths. I can't stop writing it. It feels therapeutic to get it all down but it's also churning up a lot anger inside of me. Especially when I look back and realise the school didn't really do anything constructive to deal with the situations that arose. We were lucky events didn't spiral out of control in the same way they are occurring in my story.

I know fiction works better when it is based on real experience, but where should we draw the line?  Am I right, to bring the things that have happened and use them for my own personal benefit?

I come from a generation where your private life was exactly that. No one needed to know if you were suffering from a mental breakdown or if a partner had strayed.  But that lifestyle has long gone, as we now live in the social media era, where living online and sharing is second nature. We're no longer afraid to keep things to ourselves.  We can admit what we have been through. But I still  struggle with such openness and honesty. 
When it comes to my home life, I'm quite a private person. I know I shout a lot on Twitter, but you very rarely hear me talking about my family. So this feels a little dishonest, but necessary, because I feel that this story is one that needs to be told. 

I'm probably making this sound more dramatic than it is, but at times it felt really bad. I never imagined that teenagers could be so cruel. I never imagined they could come into my house, playfully calling me their second mum, enjoy our hospitality, treating it like their second home and then be so evil that I end up calling the police. And that's just the girls. Don't even get me started on the boys. 

 It's difficult to watch kids being suffocated by social media as it holds them in it's grubby hands twenty four seven. But I've watched it happen. I stood and listened to the arguments and abuse. I've wiped away the countless tears. I've warned the bad ones not to cross us; which puts me in a good place to write about it. 

So I'm wondering how far do I go? How far is far enough without any repercussions of what I write ever coming back to my girls? 
Words - 2316 this week.
Words so far on new MS - 12,538 (which have been written since the beginning of April). 

Editing - Book Mapping  and Book Bullet Journal finally happening for Chapter Book. I even set up a Book Bullet Journal for new MS too. Go me!

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean. I worry at times about what I share on my blog, etc about the kids, but I am careful it's not too personal. I think this story is something you need to get out and would help others and possibly parents of teens. Once it's written ask the girls how they'd feel about it. They'll be a few years older by the time it gets published. It sounds like you do need to get it out. I'm intrigued xx


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