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.
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?