Friday, August 17, 2012

Writing Through Experience

I talked with a friend the other day about my book Hope for Joy.  She asked how much of it reflected personal experiences I had.  This is something that every writer faces: how much of their own experience do they draw on for their writing?

I will start by saying this:  many of the experiences I have had or those I have heard of firsthand have made it, in disguised form, into my writing.  For me, I couldn't write if I didn't have a frame of personal reference for my fiction.  Other writers may feel differently, but the idea of "write what you know" has always helped me get started.

My experience as a teaching assistant gave me a good story for the opening of my book.  I will say that the specific experience in the Hope for Joy opener did not happen to me, but I did experience a similar incident where a student was reading a  magazine in my classroom and it fell to the floor.  In my experience, the magazine's cover had a celebrity that looked *just like* my student. I made a few comments, held the magazine up for all to see, and I never *saw* a magazine open in class again. (Of course I am well aware that they may have found a better way to conceal them).

There's more to share, but I'll save it for another post.    See you next time!

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