I was asked recently what I write about.  What are my favorite kinds of articles to do and what articles do I actually hate writing.  As I thought about that answer, I realized that I both love and hate writing about relationships.  As much as I am a creative writer, I am also a writer about people and their relationships with not just a romantic interest or spouse but also relationships between parents and their children, friends, parents, and the world around them.

I write a lot about my own relationships because I feel like sharing my stories, my relationships, I can share with others that they aren't alone in how they feel, they aren't the only one dealing with a dysfunctional relationship, people can see that we all struggle in our own ways.

No, I am not a relationship expert.  But.. hey, I've had enough therapy through the years to know how to spot my own mistakes and whether I choose to stop them or proceed, well that's also a part of life and part of what I write about.

Writing about being a parent, the challenges of accepting your family as it changes and grows, letting go of adult children as they too go off to dance with their own fireflies, those are the thing that I write as well. My post, The boy with the Pirate smile, is one of my favorites writing about my oldest son when he was a little boy.

Recently I've gotten brave enough to start talking about some of the more complex relationships that I have been involved in. Having lost a family member with mental illnesses, relationships with someone who chose to end their own life, the loss of a best friend, I have stories still unwritten. There is a risk whenever you choose to write about serious topics.  There will be those who want to argue, bash you, or make you feel like a failure.  But part of being a writer is taking those risks for the greater picture.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Dancing with Fireflies, truly letting go of all of the crap, all of the negativity, and truly just enjoying the moment where you might be surrounded by darkness and the unknown. This is a state of mind and that's the place where I tend to write from.

I write often about very personal topics, like my beloved Gram, and there are times when I realize that I have been crying so hard that I have soaked my shirt. And sometimes I just sit here in my office, drinking my tea and I can't force my thoughts onto the page.  And that is okay too.  I know that at that moment, it's not the right time.

Writing abut real people and real relationships is hard. Unlike fiction or other creative writing that I have written, I struggle to write something with depth and yet not so deeply personal that my readers have no reason at all to keep reading.  Fiction is great.  You can make it up as you go along and change the whole damned universe if you feel like it. You can manipulate the characters to fit your needs.  And from time to time I will post a piece I've written that is purely fiction.

It's hard to accept that what you actually write about is often not at all what you think you write about.

If you were to ask me that I thought I wrote about… I would have said I write creative fiction, fantasy, essays.  But as I looked over my work, thought more about the whole of what I write about here on this blog and for others like BlogHer, I write about real people and real life events.  Huh… how about that.

What do YOU write about?

Love, Crysta - Dancing With Fireflies
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5 thoughts on “What do you write? Are you sure?”

  1. Pingback: What do you write? Are you sure? | Allen Mahan

  2. I think Anne Rice once said that the advice most often given to writers is to write what you know and what terrible advice that was. I think, to the extent people allow that to limit themselves in terms of imagination, this is right. But I’ve come to realise that what I enjoy most, whether it’s fantasy, biography or news, is ‘people’. And writing people, regardless of whether they are real or characters, is about writing what you know, because its the flavour of your own experience that shapes their narrative through your eyes. The expression goes that we judge other by their actions and ourselves by our intentions, but as a writer you have to be able write that other person’s intentions too and I think that’s what I aim for. Not sure if I’m making it there yet, but I’m on the journey!

  3. Most of my books have pieces of me in them. I think that’s normal. As I grow, I can develop deeper worlds that aren’t so close to me in various ways. I think that’s normal. Anyway, I think my books all have a common theme. I write about people who are tempted to be something else. I’m very motivated by people of integrity, and so I write about people who are faced with the temptation to break away from their core. They may even be forced to. For me, I think it’s heroic to be yourself, even when you have every reason and right to change your path. It speaks of dedication to me. I write fiction (that of the paranormal, science, and Fantasy variety).

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