Use the creative process … to get to know yourself better. -Catie Curtis
When we discuss writing, we often talk about the preparation needed to gear us up to write; the important aspects of writing, such as character, plot, dialogue, and scene development; the need to be a good self-editor and to find an even better professional editor; the ins and outs of writing sparkling queries and synopses for agents and publishers; and the ins and outs of going the self-publishing route. In short, we focus on the writing, submitting, and publishing of stories, which is good. We need to talk about these things.
We don’t, however, talk much about what we learn about ourselves in the act of writing. And that’s just as important. We are the vessels in which stories flow. If we’re not checking on ourselves, our connection(s) to what we write; our common threads, themes that can be seen within our works; and how what we write might even change us, we may find ourselves churning out the same story with different titles, writing stories that don’t affect us, that don’t make us grow as writers.
This isn’t something I think about with every story I write. Every two, three stories, I find myself thinking about where I’ve grown as a writer. How my interests have changed… or even if they have changed. Where I see myself moving as a writer. Doing so keeps me a vital cog in this writing journey, helps me to refine my brand and platform, and helps me to see the trajectory of the journey.
I’ve learned a few things about myself through my writing, especially in projects I’m currently working on. Two big things are I care about the “broken” woman and I care about devastating things that go on in the world, those women that have a strength they haven’t found yet because the burdens of life weigh them down and those devastating things that often leave me in tears, confused about how people can be so cruel and inflict so much pain. Through my writing, I try to understand these women, to find ways in which the burdens can be lifted and the strength restored. Through my writing, I try to get into the minds of those who do devastating things or of those who have suffered so that I can find, in some way, understanding.
If I can learn something in the act of my writing, then I can use what I learn to give advice, to help people outside the pages.
What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
Shon Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, and educator. She has published both academically and creatively while also interviewing women writers on her popular blog, ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. In 2012, her second mystery, Into the Web and her short story "I Wanna Get Off Here" (in the short story collection, The Corner Cafe) were published. Her latest release, Saying No to the Big O, was published in April 2013. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment. Currently, Shon is busy writing her dissertation ... and trying to find the time to write CREATIVELY.