Why Do You Write Fiction? Or in Other Words, I Put on My Doctor Phil Hat

File:Johann Heinrich Füssli 052.jpg

Dear writer-readers, -adjusts fake Dr-Phil ‘stache,

The country office is quiet tonight. It’s dark outside, dogs bark in the distance and my computer’s humming on my desk. (also I’ve eaten half of a graham cracker package and have the empty milk cup to prove it #theregoesmydiet).

Why do you write fiction?

I don’t mean the obvious reasons:

I write to escape.

I write because I have something to say.

I write because I want to entertain.

I write because I can’t not write.

I write because I want to make money/be the next jkrowling/sign lots of books like a star.

I write to leave my mark in the world. For future generations.

I write because it is how I express myself.

I write because I am a writer.

May I propose this theory to your astute observation?

 We write fiction to OVERCOME and MAKE SENSE of our own FEARS.

Let it sink in for a moment because I really want your thoughts on this.

Deep down why is your character the way she/he is? Is she the girl you never felt you could be in HS? Is your character overcoming the same deep-rooted insecurity you’ve carried around for years? And instead of standing and facing that real-life bully that makes you feel small your character fights dragons?

If you’re good, no one will ever know the you that’s in your book. No one will know that it is a exorcism for your own fears.

Neil Gaiman’s book, Ocean at the End of the Lane was one I read in two days. It is a brilliant piece of literature. It is a breathtaking work of fiction. A fiction book he was scared to put out into the world because it is intensely personal. (link to Amanda Palmer’s review of the book and the man).

Maybe you’ve been writing a book for a while. For years even. And it’s just not clicking. It’s the same characters and the same story but each time it’s told in a different way. Like a wind sock twisting with each new gust of wind. Without root or enough depth to carry a story with as much emotion and feeling and realism that you want to convey.

Can I hazard a guess of why not? (I AM a Hogwart’s grad, ’03 Delta Alpha Puff (Huffle, that is))

 It’s because you’re afraid to face your fear in writing. You’re not telling the story you’re supposed need to.

Face your fear. Find out what that fear is and why you’re telling it. Submerge your self-conscience in it and swim through it until you’ve broken the surface and can harness it. It will still and always be picketed in your heart. It will scare you and perhaps dredge up feelings and memories you desperately want to let lie.

 But your story will be incomplete. It will be no masterpiece. Until you can FEAR LESS. Until you realize you DO have the tools and skills to beat the bully. That you ARE worth everything you imagine yourself to be and MORE. If it takes fighting a dragon, then gird on your armor. Every day. Every day. Until that dragon is beaten.

By then, you’ll probably have an amazing, moving, deeply rooted novel as well.

*image Wikicommons


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