I don’t think I am different from other writers in wondering what it is that sets what I write apart from everyone else.
You know, what makes MY writing MINE.
I can stab at some of the ideas and themes, family, faith, death, revenge, the old favorites. I deal with small towns more than cities, probably because I grew up near a small town and don’t have the most experience with larger cities. As I get older I am trying to broaden my cast of characters to better reflect a wider world. My work is usually pretty dark but not hopeless, though I always feel like I want to write an utterly hopeless book.
Some day, perhaps.
Though, at least for me, that’s a harder proposition than it may seem because with a book you’re dragging someone along for a lengthy car ride so to then drop your passenger off in the wilderness, in the dark, with no light, well, that’s pretty unfair unless that bleakness is earned.
Short stories though, well, Katie bar the door, that’s where you can pull the carpet out from beneath someone and laugh while doing it.
Saying ALL of this though, I dunno what makes my writing my own.
I have friends that say – oh, yeah, that’s totally ‘you’.
But what does that mean, exactly?
I can see trends though.
The last two books I have written, and the one I am writing now, deal with death and loss a lot. They deal with the loss of loved ones and the loss of one’s self. The loss and questioning of faith. The questioning of rules and tradition. It questions who we are and whether we choose that. It’s interesting. The new book is a lot about grief, like the one before it, and what it means to grieve. I know where the current book is heading but it still is interesting and surprising to see how it wants to get where it’s going.
And there is that, you know, the whole ‘the story tells itself’ aspect of things.
And it’s strange.
It’s one of those things that dances as close to magic as we have in this world, like someone getting a hole in one in golf, or hitting a long basketball shot, or any when you are going to fall over but somehow manage to get your body re-calibrated in time to stop yourself.
Writing happens so quickly, like speaking, like acting sometimes, that HOW it happens and WHY feels nebulous.
It feels mysterious.
It feels like magic.
There is an explanation, of course, that the mind works faster than we can even imagine or comprehend, that we are thinking faster than, in this case, we can write.
I get that.
But the story, if you get into it, flows in a way that a part of you knows where it wants to go, and what it wants to be and you just sit back and let it do its thing and reign it in when we do the editing.
We tap it back into its lane, as it were.
Writing, like all things that take a developed skill, is love, it is an action without thought, a vibe you just go with to see where it takes you.
Writing is a rapids and sometimes you’re just along for the ride.
What all of this means as to how I write, and what I write, and what it all means, well, standing at ground zero, I can’t say.
Maybe you can.
You tell me.
I write books and such.