When was the last time someone you know confronted you about something you wrote, because they think is was about them? Or that you’ve challenged their personal belief system and thrown a gauntlet at their feet. Then they get really angry when you tell them, “it’s not necessarily about you.” Chaos reigns. Accusations fly! Hurt feelings, angry words, and more…
There have been times in my writing hobby that someone close to me read a piece and immediately decided, right or wrong, that the words were about them personally. Ok, I admit, sometimes, what I write is absolutely inspired by you, a situation we were in, or something I dreamed up involving you. Sometimes. The majority of my writing comes from a mix of real and imagined. It maybe be about someone sorta like you… two arms, two legs, two personalities… kidding. Sorta.
What I write challenges the everyday, the embedded beliefs, the standard and the alternate, who or what I am versus them or another. I like the discomfort of a story. I enjoy the writer who can make me think. I want to challenge the reader’s heart and mind. (Don’t go looking for those pieces here just yet, but they are coming.) I want to incite wonder and questions and make the reader uncomfortable. I write about what interests me, that may or may not include you or a part of you or something you brought to my mind. I don’t sit down at my computer or with a notebook and think “huh, I’m gonna write this, about that person.” My writing doesn’t happen that way. My stories often evolve from a “what if” thought, my poetry stems from “that makes me feel” and neither of those have much at all to do about you. Characters and stories scratch the inside of my brain until I let them out. You certainly don’t do that. Do you? Poetry, for me, is tending wounds. The blood of raw emotion seeping onto the page. It is old fashioned medicine, open it up, scrub it raw, burn it chemically clean and let it bleed before you bandage and hide it from the germ filled world. That is poetry. That isn’t you either, is it?
Curious about a character? Ask, I might be able to articulate where I dug up the disparate bones of the piece. Bottom line here, if you read something and think its about you, just don’t, its probably just about them. 😉