Life experiences shape my writing, as it probably does you other writers out there. Looking back on my journey to publication and looking ahead at (what I hope) is the start of a successful career, I find myself nostalgic over the journey to this point. I wonder periodically what would have happened had I been a success at the start of my adult life.
Truthfully? I don’t think that I would’ve gained the life experience to create the characters and stories I have now. Looking back at my writing from those long ago days, I see what I couldn’t see before…a lack of depth and understanding of the world around me.
During this case of nostalgia I’m thinking back on some of the key life moments that shaped me and my outlook the most. As you can imagine, as a married mother of 4 there have been quite a few. However, a few key ones stand out for me:
There was the first homeless person I recognized as being homeless when I was a child. Seeing the markings and emotional scars from a life struggling to survive and the embarrassment and shame etched into his eyes.
There was seeing my husband for the first time and knowing love at first sight did exist…and no matter how corny and cliche, someone could have their breath taken away.
There was the moment I looked down at my first born. I saw for the first time the perfection one could be blessed with and the truth behind humankind’s otherness from all other species in this world.
And without a doubt, there was the pain in that wife’s eyes as I stood by her side in intensive care many years ago as she watched her husband pass on. Comforting during this woman’s experience of loss not only of her loved one but a shared life they had together and the confusion of what she would do the rest of her own days without him.
Yes, there’s something to be said for the trials and tribulations to authorship. Writers must struggle because they are one of the groups of interpreters for humankind. By that definition they have to see the world in all its levels to truly interpret it. I have to say, I’ve loved the side journey’s my life has taken and the wealth of moments it has put into my life jar.
For my writer buddies, what life experiences affected your writing the most?
For my reader buddies, what passage in a book most affected your outlook on life?
Good writing and reading all!