The writing, or at least the depth we are able to dive to, depends on our ability to be engaged in our lives and experience the variety of people that exist outside our front door. I say this as someone who really enjoys living a private existance and selected, in part, writing in order to try and find some path where I could create in anonymity and quiet. However, as I look at the stories I have written--both fiction and nonfiction--they rely so much on the characters I have met during times when life has been anything but quiet.
For example, one story is loosely based on the time I went to Mardi Gras and my girlfriend at the time left me asleep (passed out, really) in our car to have sex with one of our friends. I didn't find out until after we had broken up, but the impending pain of that experience is expressed throughout the story as are some of the characters we met and scenes where our story played out. Another story, nonfiction this time, talks about meeting my wife for the first time and then the first time we tried to make love, but due to my cancer surgery it did not work out. The story would not have been possible, nor would my marriage, if I had not taken a very large leap of faith and entered the dating world again, but with a colostomy. Another story comes from meeting two teenage boys when I wast still a teenager and traveling by bus across the country to hitchhike around California. I was in Omaha at the time and they explained how the cars that continually drove by the bus station were men seeking teenage boys prostituting themselves out. They described the sexual predilection of each driver as he passed. That story and experience would not have happened if I had listened to common sense and my mom and stayed at home.
In every case, whether it is a fiction or nonfiction piece, the story and narrative as well as events and scene would have lacked details that provide context and verisimilitude to the piece--they writing simply would not have been as strong if I had remained secluded, away from the world and its many intrigueing, albeit sometimes dangerous and offbeat, characters and situations. The saying goes that life is stranger than fiction, but for fiction to be at least as strange as life, it must include details that can only be deduced from having a multitude of experience from which to draw upon.
As I write I am exhausted due to spending late nights out cooking at my restaurant job to make ends meet and early mornings (5 am and 6 am) getting kids ready for school and their day. I am tired and wish I could go back to a saner schedule, but for the time being this is the reality of my life. In the meanwhile, though, this job gets me out of myself and my former routine and I meet people and hear of experiences and have my own experiences that I already am hoping to channel into my writing.
There is no such thing is dishonorable work and there is no such thing as dishonest experience.
Causes James Buchanan Supports
Expanding health care in the US, ending war as a viable tool of foreign policy, and issues related to social justice in general.