A few months ago, I stopped working on my novel. I was scared to finish it because I knew I’d have to tackle some painful childhood memories and I didn’t want to deal with them. I wanted to leave them in the past where they belonged.
I did everything to prevent myself from thinking about them including starting new projects, planning trips, and drawing, but it didn’t work. I had the urge to finish my novel, but I couldn’t. Not until I dealt with some issues.
I made the decision to stop pushing away the pain, even though the thought terrified me. And I knew a scratch of the surface wouldn’t do. I was going to have to sledgehammer that bad-boy open. I needed to feel every emotion. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was downright painful, but this is bleeding on the page. This is writing born from pain. This is the feel of writing.
I jumped in head-first and started off by interviewing my parents and then each one of my siblings. It forced me to look at the same situation from many different angles, which is a phenomenal gift, but difficult. Their truth was not my truth and vice versa. Since we’re all individuals with our own take on each situation, our perceptions were different. I had to come to the realization that this is okay. This is real.
Then I had my sister interview me. In the middle of the interview, I let everything go and shouted out my feelings. I wasn’t expecting that to happen. It shocked me, but it was also liberating.
I’m glad I decided to interview my family because it recharged my novel. I am now able to look at it with mature eyes.
The process of writing this novel has been incredible. It has broken me down mentally, built me up, and challenged everything I am and thought I was. I am emotionally drained, but enlightened in a way I never thought possible.
I didn’t want those memories to bleed into my current work, but the truth is, that wasn’t authentic. I needed to bust open the memories from my past to write what I am meant to write and I’m glad I did.
Now back to work.