Real Creative Writing

I'm into real creative writing. I love it when authors draw from their own life experiences to create a work that other people can relate to. The reason people can relate is that our experience in life aren't all that different from each other's. A broad example is that if I write about my experiences getting bullied on the 8th grade baseball team, there is a good chance my reader will have directly or indirectly experienced bullying before. Real creative writing is especially powerful though when you apply it emotionally.

Not all of the characters I write are going to be just like me and the people I know. When I was younger, I took the phrase, "Write what you know," too literally. Obviously, I knew directly about all the events I'd experienced. I'd had a Bar Mitzvah, I'd participated on the wrestling team and I'd awkwardly gone to more than one school dance. Using my own experiences to color my writing was one way to use real creative writing. Another way to use my experiences was to apply them indirectly.

I've never piloted a helicopter before, but perhaps I would be able to substitute one of my own experiences. For an experienced pilot, flying this contraption represents using a refined skill in a risky environment. That reminds me of the time I had to drive two co-workers on an out of town gig in the snow. I had to thoroughly concentrate on safety and get us there in one piece. Sure, I was a bit nervous, but I was also confident in my snow driving ability (growing up in the Northeast will do that to you). By applying my emotions in that situation onto a character piloting a helicopter, I'm still engaging in real creative writing. I'm not just guessing at what this character might be feeling, because I'm substituting my own experience.

How you decide to apply this type of creative writing in your work is up to you. Perhaps you can supplement a character who has been betrayed with your own personal feelings of betrayal from a time in your life. Maybe you can describe an attractive character using the same features as your high school crush. It feels risky to use so much of yourself in your writing but its simply the best way to create relatable characters, emotions and situations.

Some people say they have trouble coming up with ideas. In my experience, if you use your own life in your writing, the possibilities for your scripts or stories will be endless.

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