Saturday, October 12, 2013

Writing's Role in My Life

I was a writing machine for two weeks.  I finished my second novel.  I need to re-work the ending a bit, but otherwise I think it's pretty good.  Time to send it out and have friends and family edit it for me.  The subject matter is tough, and as such it is not a commercial book.  Literary fiction is not commercial.  Chick lit, like my first novel, or women's fiction, or whatever you want to call it: that's what sells.

I was thinking about women's fiction yesterday, and I thought about how we're all just inherently hopeless romantics. We're all looking for a knight on a white horse: something that doesn't exist in real life.  We all put unrealistic expectations on the people in our lives, mostly out of our own expectations for ourselves and how we expect our life to look. 

I'm currently addicted to the Pink song featuring Nate Reuss (from Fun) called Just Give Me a Reason.  I was thinking about this song, as I listened to it over and over again, and Pink's voice is so heartbreaking.  Relationships are hard.  They make great fodder for television, music and books, because they are such a big part of our life, and because everyone can relate to a failing relationship, a wonderful relationship, and the oh so unrealistic romantic notion of the TV/movie relationship. 

My first novel touches on relationships, mostly with bits and pieces from my own real-life experiences.  I used the idea of unrequited love, because I struggled with this for years in my own life.  As an author, I use my novels to work through struggles I'm having or for concepts I can't grasp.  I use my characters as pawns to work through the problems, or the thoughts that continually go around and around in my head.  Sometimes I finish a work, like Semi-Detached, and I feel completely done with it--time to move on.  Sometimes I finish a work, like my second novel, The Devil Within, and it keeps haunting me.  I think of the unfinished business in the book--I want to go back and tie up all the pieces, make it complete and be able to walk away, but it just doesn't work out that way--very much like a failed relationship without closure. 

I had to step away from the Devil Within, because the subject matter was painful.  The idea of a nine year old being subjected to horrific abuse with a father who spouts it off as the will of God horrified me.  Even in the end, the boy grows up "unsaved."  I've struggled with religion my whole life.  I've struggled with relationships.  I'm one of those people who questions everything, and I seemingly find no answers, except through my writing, and sometimes the answer is unjust, like real life, where things are seldom fair.  I just have to keep on searching, like all the other people in this world who are thrown here together to make an impression and then move on.  That's just life.

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