Sometimes the Subconscious Bites
So I'm in a bleak kind of mood lately. Today I made the rounds of LDS arts blogs, made a somewhat snarky comment or too, was appropriately given mild chastisement, and so now I'm slinking back here to chew things over.
I wrote a while back about how writing (if you are doing it right) brings up issues and grieving processes and conflicts that generally stay far below the surface. At least, that's what I've come to expect. My first attempts at novels were pretty fluffy. But as I continued to develop stories, they've grown more and more real, and therefore, more and more connected to me and my own experiences.
This story is really getting to me. I've got my character in a really bleak, frightening situation and I just want to shut down, emotionally. Like, I literally find it very hard to be in front of the screen, typing the words, and coming back and reading them the next day. Pardon if this is too graphic an analogy, but it's like the moment of crowning during the birthing process. You know it's necessary, you know it means good things are very soon coming, but you just want to get that moment over with, asap. Because it hurts like he(ck).
This story has brought issues to the surface--most specifically, regrets--that I haven't yet examined or gone over and worked through. It's been like a too-effective liver cleanse... maybe I wasn't ready.
Or maybe it really is like the crowning process... I never will be ready for this level of emotional discomfort, and it's time to get it over with if I want to move on to better things. I've heard of writers getting involved in the lives of their characters and hurting for them and rejoicing for them, but I always thought it was kind of a cutesy-trite thing like, "I write so well, I even hypnotize MYSELF into thinking these are real people." But I realize now that it's true. I think because (as one of the wise men in my critique group recently stated) Characters are either who the writer is, who they wish to be, or who they are afraid they are or might become.