When you sit down to write, what is the place you write from? I don’t mean the physical place, such as the office, coffee shop, or library, but the place within yourself. Do you write from your external world living in your mind, or from that secret garden in your soul where nobody else has been? Or, maybe you even write from the in-between with one foot in your head and the other in your heart.
For me, writing from the external world means I look for my subject matter in magazines, newspaper articles, and the life experiences of other people. It means research, learning new things, and creating stories from experiences that I have never been through.
When writing from that secret garden, I go deep within myself for the almost forgotten memory or a universal feeling to create a story. This is not the same as a memoir, which is writing about the truth as you remember it during a certain time period. It means taking a fact, such as a childhood experience or something that happened yesterday, and creating a story around that one thing. It means remembering that feeling of abandonment, which we have all felt at some time in our life, and using it as a story theme.
The in-between is where I write from both worlds. For example, I read an article about someone who has been kidnapped only to live and tell the story. This inspires me to write a novel about a woman who has been kidnapped by a stranger and must fight to survive in order to reunite with her children. While I have not been kidnapped, I do know that universal feeling of fear and the need to survive.
What do these worlds look like to you? Which one(s) do you write from?