There is an old adage about writers that states that everything that happens in a writer’s life isn’t bad because it’s material. I have to admit that I’ve shared this view for many years. I’m not sure if the events in my life drove me to write or that writing demanded interesting events so I would have something to write about – the old chicken/egg conundrum – which came first? However, I do know that writing for me has always been cathartic. It has become the salve that eases the pain, greases the joy and abates the boredom.
The invention of stories only served to spice up my otherwise dull existence and enabled me to travel, try on various professions and occupations and realize (in some odd way) the things I coveted but couldn’t get in real life. It also enabled me to rewrite history in order to change the course of a real life event toward the result that should have been, rather than what was.
For all of these reasons and more I have turned to the written word to sound out what was happening in my life – making me oddly enough, my own confidante.
Recently though, I’ve come to ask myself if all of my experiences should be material. If my life was meant to be a screwball display of my failures and triumphs in a public forum such as this. If some things are too private to reveal or elude to. And if so, why? To save myself from embarrassment or humiliation – or is it to protect the other unassuming participants in my life who have a right to privacy?
I have concluded that is all of the above and more. That there really are some things that are too private to use as fodder to fill pages. There really is sometimes to high a collateral damage factor.
So…color me quiet and somewhat surprised…my life isn’t in fact, an open book, after all.