I get asked this question a lot. How much of yourself do you put into your writing?
It’s not an easy question to answer. The simple answer is a lot. But the long answer is a lot more complicated.
On one side, It’s easy to detail my own experiences, my own quirks and mannerisms, my flaws and my insecurities. That’s all easy to draw from and make a believable character from. But at the same time, I usually hone in and emphasize one part of me, exaggerate and dramatize one internal struggle of mine. This also largely depends on the current state of my life when I’m writing. If everything’s going smoothly, I usually separate myself from my characters and create from my imagination. If I’m writing a funny, jolly scene, I’ll draw from myself.
On the flip side, if I’m going through a struggle, I pour myself into my characters. I might be weird, so it might not work for everyone. But from what I enjoy, damaged, struggling characters create good drama. Protagonists need things to overcome. On the outside and the inside. So if I’m going through some hurt or some rough times, I put a lot of myself into my writing.
Which is actually a scary thing when you think on it. You put yourself out there for the world to see. Out there for all your family and friends to delve into your mind and your thoughts, your fears and your doubts, your own personal darkness and how you cope with it. It’s not an easy thing to put out there sometimes. But that’s just a small price to pay to be a writer. At least for me it is.
You have to be okay with yourself if you’re going to put yourself in your writing. You have to know who you are. You have to be unashamed of what people might think. Because the world need to know who you are. Other people need to know that it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to have moments of doubt, it’s okay to be scared. Because everyone goes through this. No is excluded from life’s struggles. And through our stories we can help these same people realize it’s possible to be heroic, you’re capable of being brave and doing extraordinary things. I need to remind myself of this too. Heroes aren’t anyone special. They’re just put into special situations, and do the infinite amount of special things all humans can do.
So yes, I put a lot of myself into my writing. Because I’m human, just like you. I can be scared and I can be brave. I can be sad and I can be happy. I can have struggles and I can overcome them. And I can be heroic…just like you.