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Writing Pieces Of Me

henriette-browne-young-girl-writing-at-her-desk-with-birdsI’ve been thinking lately about how much I write myself into my stories. I had one person comment that all writers write about themselves. As if it was more of a self indulgent feather in the cap to the writer, rather than a genuine observation made by himself. I quickly denied the notion, believing that I fully make believe every word I write down. But, the truth of the matter is, I AM writing pieces of myself. Not for the purpose of feathers, but because it comes natural.

I noticed yesterday when I posted about how easy it was to write my book dealing with the girl with commitment issues that I had more instances that I’ve infused myself into the storylines. Things that are totally me. Nothing major, but little trickles of what I like to eat, what I wear, what I don’t like to see. It’s almost a game of “Where’s Waldo?”, but instead, “Where’s Julie?”  I can recollect which book I write about things that concern the real me. It’s sort of fun:)

I was driving somewhere today and noticed all the daffodils blooming alongside the road and it brought a smile to my face. Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. They are the first sign that spring is on the way. My mother always decorates my birthday cake with the yellow spring flowers. So, when I was writing my YA novel about a young girl who’d just lost her grandmother to a heart attack, she turned to her boyfriend and told him to always remember to have daffodils put on her birthday cake.

My debut novel, “Waking Amy”, is about a girl who always dresses “comfortable”. That’s code word for boring. That’s also how my best friend describes my preference of dress. So, it was easy to describe her wardrobe:) But, Amy spends her time trying to modify herself in order to improve her marriage. (Not a similarity in my life:) At least I hope my beau doesn’t find my attire divorce-worthy. Hmm… I’ll have to check into a few new spring dresses!

Anyway, it’s interesting to go back and find the similarities that I write into my characters that are, in fact, pieces of me. I never really noticed it before. They say, “write what you know.” I suppose that’s just what I was doing!

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11 thoughts on “Writing Pieces Of Me”

  1. I think everything we write expresses something of ourselves. We write according to our values. I am definitely aware that I write pieces of me. Ever since I was a kid, writing has been an outlet for me to express the things I can’t say in person. So, now, I do it purposefully. As another saying goes, “what’s personal is political.”

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    1. Interesting; you can write what you can’t say. Hmmm… I have to admit, I’d rather write my rebuttal rather than experience confrontation with people. Writing is so much easier for me. I wonder why we’re like that:))

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      1. For me, I think it has to do with the environment I grew up in. I also tend to avoid confrontations. I hold in a lot of things and it spills out in my writing. Sometimes, it feels counterproductive. I deleted my book review blog because I thought I was being too negative. I decided I would only write positive reviews from now on. I posted a good review of Madeline Hunter’s new novel on Amazon, and one customer commented, “Ouch.” How ironic. (Btw, if you still want to follow me, I’m at unquietlyme.wordpress.com 🙂

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      2. That’s crazy! (The “ouch” comment) I definitely want to follow you. I’ll head over there right now. I, too, am finding it difficult to review books. I know how important they are to authors, but I run into the problem of possibly hurting someone’s feelings. It’s certainly not a bad review that I’d give, it’s just that I tend to write what I feel. And, sometimes it can be construed as negative. It’s like, “open mouth, insert foot!” I won’t abort the whole reviewing thing. Like you, I will only put out the positives. But, then again if someone commented something about my book that I could improve, I’d want to know it. I’d change it, of course, after eating a pint of chocolate ice cream because they inadvertently hurt my feelings:) There’s no win, huh? Nah, I’ve adapted a thicker skin since being a writer. Not everyone is going to like your style, your details, your character descriptions… But, if it’s helpful criticism I want to know. Otherwise, I lose readers and never know why. Like talking with spinach in your teeth, I guess. Please tell me!!!

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      3. I would love to help with the helpful criticism 🙂 Thanks for following me and on Twitter too! Though, I’m kind of shy about using Twitter. I don’t know what to do with it. I have been thinking about the thick skin thing a lot lately, since I’m writing a novel and of course I want it to be published. Though, I have to finish writing it first. LOL.

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      4. You’re very welcome for the follow. I agree about Twitter. Odd little place, but it’s another venue to get your stuff out there. I was encouraged to get an account by my publisher. And, about the thick skin, you haven’t seen anything yet! (since you’re writing for publication) Try and find a really good critique partner and get tons of feedback before you put yourself out there for agents to review. It’s most helpful to kick it around the block before putting on the polish. Then, figure on writing it a few more ten times before it’s perfect:) Oh, the fun!! Seriously though, it IS fun. Just nerve wracking at times. Good luck!

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      5. Thanks! I’m on the third draft of my novel. I’ve been working on it for five years. I have things to say, and characters whom I really care about and whose story I feel needs to be written and read. I don’t have high expectations though for the novel to get published. I actually get kind of depressed thinking about it. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, and it’s self-defeating to think this way. So, I need to not think about publishing and just finish writing the novel & think positive thoughts instead.

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      6. Absolutely! Positive thoughts ONLY!! Are you depressed thinking it won’t get published? It has as much of a chance as anyone else who has the determination to get it done. I mean it, you can do anything you set your mind to. I believe in you and you CAN do it. Let me know if I can be of any help. Although, I’m new to the process, I will offer you any help I can provide:)

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      7. Normally I don’t get very depressed thinking my novel won’t be published. It is a reality. It will be hard for my novel to find a publisher because it’s not easy to categorize and they probably won’t believe it can make them a lot of money. My mood is up and down right now (I’m bipolar – another reason I don’t trust my writing sometimes) and my mood is reflected in whatever I’m writing. This is probably TMI. LOL. Anyway. Thanks for your happy thoughts for me 🙂

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      8. I understand the ups and downs. Hopefully in the future you’ll have more ups! I hope you won’t ever give up. You never know until you try. A good measure to see how your writing is received, is to enter into contests. That’s what I did when I started. They give great feedback about how things can be improved. And, who doesn’t need that? My writing benefited a great deal from entering. Who knows? You just might win in the process! Get involved in writing groups. They are invaluable, too. I know you can do it:)

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      9. I have thought about joining a writing group in my area, but I would have to work with other writers and critique their work as well. I can’t make the commitment, because there are times when I just don’t want to go out. I have a friend who has been reading my manuscript from the first draft, when it was just a short story. She has seen so many version of the manuscript. What I worry about most when I’m revising is pace and plotting. If I’m bored with a scene, then I’m pretty sure the reader will be too. LOL. Thanks for the advice and encouragement 🙂

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