When I meet a writer, a published children’s author that I adore, an adult fiction writer I get to know personally, or even a Presidential Inaugural Poet I have the privilege of communicating with, I hide behind my facade as a teacher. On paper, I speak out on behalf of my students. I share their stories and background with the author and I ask them for encouragement for my budding writers. Then I let the kids take the lead with their own writing. I speak through them. When I meet authors in person, I always ask the same question, “How do you decide what to write about?”
I get the same answers every time:
“Write about what you love.”
“Write about what you know.”
“Write about what’s important to you.”
That’s the problem. What I love, what I know and what’s important to me is not what I want to sit and focus on. My life rotates around such specific things that I want to run from. That I want to escape from. So although that advice works well for those in my classroom and I do teach this with reverence, the last thing I want to do is write about my actual love, knowledge and what should be important to me.
“The pain felt at a death seems too much to bear, yet people go on because the beauty of life remains despite the loss. But what do people do while the pain persists?”Grief Feels Like You’re Going Crazy By Arthur Dobrin, D.S.W.
I want to write an escape. I want to write to get out of my head and away form my truths. Everyone has a story that they have to write, but come on! Who really wants to read the stories of everyday survival and drama that has yet to get better? I sure don’t.
Today I’ve finally decided to write about what I know love and what’s important to me if no rules existed. If I didn’t have a conscience. As if I didn’t have anything to feel bad about after the words had hit the keyboards and been expelled as some sort of confession without the possibility of repentance.
I want to write about My Second Life.
This is the life that will start when everything I know as my life today, will end. I want to skip the mourning and the sadness. The desperation. I want to land right in the exciting parts that push me forward into the second chance. It’s horribly cruel. But the thing is, I don’t want to look forward to that pain of when or if or when he’s gone. I want to skip the hard stuff and start at the juicy stuff. I want to make up for all the that’s sliding away now. The energy, the strength, the excitement of something new to come.
What I love right now is the idea of an alternate reality.
What I know is that the only way through is to look to the possibility of light ahead.
What is important to me will eventually find its place into my writing.