Some days my brain is threatening to explode with all of the ideas I have and want to write about on this blog.
Most of the time, I don’t write about them because:
- I’m too emotional
- I’m afraid I’ll hurt someone by what I say
I don’t want to hurt anyone by what I write but censoring myself really hurts the creative process and I end up writing nothing. Any writer or agent will tell you to write what you know. I’ve even heard a writer say that if people don’t like what you write about them, they should have been nicer to you. For the most part, I pretty much agree with those statements and wish I had the courage to unleash myself and write the TRUTH!
Or at least the truth as I see it.
But recently, I had an experience that gives me pause.
I read a blog that details a person’s experience as they walk through the death of a loved one. It’s very well written, her pain is palpable in her writing and she’s very honest about what she’s thinking, feeling, and going through.
Over the weekend, I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in years who is related to the above-mentioned blog writer and to the loved one who passed away. After we spent a few minutes catching up, my friend asked me if I was reading the blog. When I said I was, her eyes filled with tears. The blog may provide healing for the writer, but it’s causing pain for my friend.
I’m torn. I understand what the writer was doing. But I also understand my friend’s pain.
This situation has been gnawing at me for a couple of days and I don’t have any answers. I’ve been looking forward to the day when all my kids are in school (two more days!) and I have time to write again. I have the story in my head and I’m ready to go. But in light of this situation, I’m questioning myself. My creative idea is based on real life experiences and it would have the power to hurt people, even if I worked really hard to be careful not to.
What’s the answer?
What responsibility does the writer have when it comes to writing from the heart and real life experiences?