Thursday, August 11, 2016

We Use Life Experiences In Our Writing

The poster for today makes me aware of how important our life experiences are. They feed our writer's soul and allow us to make our writing something readers can and will relate to.

It also gives consideration to the difference between a writer of a young age--say twenties--as opposed to those in fifties or sixties. It's not that one age group is a better writer than the other. It's more that the older writer has far more life experiences to draw from.

A plus for the twenty-something writer is that he/she can write toward their own age group far better than someone who is 65. The younger writer understands what the younger reader wants to read about. Technology of today is natural to them as they've grown up with it. For the older writer, it was not all that easy to learn the technology of today. Sure, lots of us have done it but we had to work at it. There was no 'natural' about it. Conversely, the older writer is able to reach the older reader more easily. They can use the large expanse of life happenings.

Wouldn't it be nice if all our life experiences could be arranged in a file drawer, waiting for us to rifle through the folders and use the one that best illustrates whatever we are writing about? Instead, those events that occurred throughout our lifetime are filed in our memory bank and it's not always so easy to pluck the right one at will.

Even so, our subconscious often pulls that memory for us. Start writing about a circus and a memory of a circus you attended as a child pops into your mind. As you think about it, you will add more and more to the memory and then use some of the information to bring your writing to life. If you concentrate on your circus memory, you might even bring sensory details to mind--the smell, the sounds, the taste of cotton candy, and more.

If you have lived through a tragic time in your life, you will be able to draw from the experience and write about it. Doing so can help others and also aid in your own healing. The joyous time of a wedding or the birth of a long-awaited child stays with you and comes through when you write about the same kind of event.

Getting poor grades in school might help you write a kid story about the same, or if you were the valedictorian of your high school class, you might write a YA story about a person who is at the top of his/her class. You were there so you know the feelings of that person.

Good or bad, nothing in our life experiences is wasted. It's all there in your memory bank waiting for you to make a withdrawal and put it to good use.

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