A Writer’s Creative Process

by Brenda on May 11, 2012

Inside the Writer's Mind

In answer to queries that I’ve had about my writer’s voice, subject matter, fact vs. fiction, and where I get my ideas. And is everything about me.

Your writer’s voice and is everything about you:

I write from the left side of my heart, talk as if I am an open nerve, will slice open a vein to write without reserve or inhabitation on all those emotions that are often trapped behind an organ.

I concede I write provocatively on any subject I feel passionately about and will cross boarders if the urge is strong. I will write honestly about emotions and our flaws we tuck under the mattress and pray stayed buried. I write frequently and comfortably in the ‘I’ voice, even if ‘I’ am not the subject. I will stand naked on the page if what challenges me requires me to speak as if the “I’ is me. I will bare the weight of assumptions if only to define, explore, expose, and challenge the preconceptions in a woman.

Even though this is my chosen voice—bold and brazen—I rarely confess, even to my two and half friends, when I am buried in the middle of a life’s dark abyss, if I am blue, or if I feel the weight of the world pushing me inward. I won’t and I don’t. I was raised by wolves and gypsies and was taught—aggressively as well as passively—to be tough, to not linger in the two-ringed pity pool, to not wear my knickers inside-out, to buck up in the face of adversity, and if I must whimper, to do it with dignity. I will however find a release for my angst, frustration, confusion, wonderment, anger, fear, loss, excitement, doubt, liberation, boldness, and snarky disposition, and wild joy, in my words.

I will defy my family upbringing, and write around the rule of show and not tell, in my poetry.

Do you bend the rules? Do you tell the truth? Do you blend fact with fiction?

If I am writing fiction, I will bend the facts, elaborate and be inventive. In the name of story, I will create.  When I am writing in my fiction voice I will weave into the story my own life truths, myself, people I know, events, experiences, any and everything I have tasted, touched, lived through, cried over, laughed about, lost, and buried. I will and I do. I don’t know many authors, but those I’ve read about say this is what the writer does. We gather fodder everyday in the strangest of places. The tidbits we collect appear on the page when we least expect it.

Where do you get your ideas?

I don’t have a one stop shop answer for this question.  As noted above, I steal from my own life all the time, but not in complete chunks. Rather I weave in pieces. After writing a book and reading it, not as a writer but as a reader, I realized I had written pieces of my real self into the book. The book is not my life story, but within it, there are shards of glass, snippets, and fractions of moments, which are mine. Of course, there are others in there besides mine. People I know, don’t know, family, events I lived through, or heard about, but finally at my hand, I manipulated, rewrote, even lied, for the sake of the story.

But this is not always the case.  I recently wrote a short story where the main character is writing her Christmas letter to Santa. In the letter, she talks about abuse and a murder. I have no personal experience with either and have absolutely no idea where the story came from. I sat down at my desk and out the story came.

What about writer’s block?

Sometimes when I am stuck in my mind or a moment I can’t get out of, I write open letters to the universe.

Being a hostage to my thoughts is my version of writer’s block. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about because I do have endless flittering thoughts racing around in my mind, crashing, drifting as a sporty ten-second car does around a curve, but the string of thoughts and the solitary words interlock, forming a chain of potential. It stays only that, a possibility of more, until I am unstuck inside. This is writer’s block Brenda style. To resolve, I sit my butt in the chair and type until the words break free. The letter to Santa is a good example of untangling my thoughts and getting over myself.

Thanks for the questions.


What kind of writer are you? Do you have an opinion on any of the questions asked of me?