Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Write What You Know?

I don't know what I know until I've written it.

Until I've listened, until I've opened up myself enough to the possibility that I don't know everything, to mystery.

How can we know something without stretching our imaginations to discover and explore? What a wonderful adventure writing is!  To know something or someone is to be open to exploration and discovery. Knowledge and experience shouldn't be rigid - we need to be flexible in our definitions, and open to the possibility that we don't know everything. My imagination knows things, my subconscious knows things, and yours does too. There is something you know in everything that you write.

Many of us start a project writing what we know in a concrete way until it begins to take on a life of its own. Or we start out completely the opposite, wanting to learn about something and finding our own truths, knowledge, within the story.

Our first novels are often the most autobiographical. I happen to have experience with alcoholism and recovery in my own family, so it makes an appearance in between the pages of EDGES. Another novel was inspired by the Reality TV show I was on, and the novel I'm writing now is based on something I had on my bucket list when I was a teenager: to be a performer on a cruise ship. (It's not on my bucket list anymore, although I think that writing about it counts, don't you?)

Every novel, story, even blog post, has a different trajectory. We get stuck, because we don't "know" something. I don't know where this is going . . . how many times have I told myself that?  But our job is to keep writing, even through the undulations of self doubt. I practice writing something almost every day, even if it's just one hundred words.

Yes, it may be NaNoWriMo, but don't let low word count get you down, keep writing, and know that you will get better as you practice, whether the words fly across the screen or drip slowly like molasses: keep plugging away and keep the faith.

In other news, I am selling my own copies of Edges! If you would like a personalized copy for yourself or someone you love, I will charge only $10, which includes the shipping.

Read and write on my loves!


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