What writing taught me

I consider myself a ‘work-in-progress’; a developing character in Life’s story where the conflicts and resolutions tend to tip the balance of my happiness. I’m not one to believe someone else writes my tale. Ultimately, that is for me to do, but learning about the process of good story telling taught me so many valuable lessons about this real life story I live.

Conflicts need solutions. When depressed, I tend to wallow in my misery rather than ‘take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them’.  Instead of bemoaning the state you find yourself in, do something about it. Life is about choices; easy ones, tough ones, but choices nonetheless. Your story needs a resolution to end the conflict.

Villains fulfill their needs too. A good villain works from his or her own motivation. Understanding what motivates them helps you find some way to come to terms with them.  When difficult people provoke my ire, I try to take a moment to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. Are they working from their own insecurities, emotional baggage, deep rooted issues I cannot possibly fathom, or perhaps they need to stroke a underdeveloped ego?

Think outside the box. Struggling with story plots and characters, a writer avoids the stereotypes and cliche’ that might put their novel in the trash. To mix things up, I turn things around, mix personalities, and ask many questions if this or that will work in a story. Much is the same in real life. I question rules, wonder about people’s motivations, and consider actions that others might not consider orthodox.

I’m the hero of my own story. Perhaps more the ‘reluctant hero’, but a hero nonetheless. The story intertwines the day to day efforts of homeschooling my son, thereby shaping him into a healthy happy adult, while pursuing my own goals to be a writer, an overall ‘good guy’ (or in my case, a gal), and to see oppurtunities as they arise.

What do you think your writing teaches you?

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