Using your past in your writing

Whether we like it or not, we are a reflection of the genetic material handed down from our parents and the life we have lived and experienced, warts and all.

This blog concerns using one’s own past as a tool for writing.

It can be something that has wonderful loving valuable memories, or for many of us, has other less than totally wonderful aspects to it – sometimes. It need to be said now that I am not advocating revisiting old trauma or things that have happened that have left us scarred, but there are a host of experiences filed away in our heads that can be used creatively in our writing.

I am sure we have all had or been to a birthday party as a child where something amusing happened, mum dropped the cake and it fell on Lucy’s head, icing side down or the jelly didn’t set and you used straws to eat it. Making cakes and bread with your mum or dad as a child, getting all messy, having a great time, all sorts of situations like those. Your first time gardening to “help” plant things, so many experiences all waiting to be tapped into, taken out for a good airing and used.

Your first day at school, or your first kiss, come on, we all remember that day when we were so nervous your knees were clanging together and sweat was dripping off you as that person stood right in front of you, as nervous as you. Write capturing that emotion, what did it feel like? How did his or her lips taste, what were you thinking, did you worry about where to put your hands and so on…….

All these things are great resources for writers.

Then off course you get older, meet that person who makes you whole, you get married. Now there is a whole galleon of data, emotions, events that can all be used to make your writing zing.

Some of us have had children, got divorced, re-married lost your job, again, all power to your elbow. They are entirely your own unique experiences that can be used to make your writing personal, better and brings depth to the story and the characters.

No one else has lived your life, not even your twin if you have one, make the experiences from your life part of your writing.

Keep writing, for you know you have to…….



About purpleandrew

Andrew, recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome is a 54 year old former geologist always had short hair, suited & booted for work. That all changed when the credit crunch hit. Now a complimentary therapist, hospital radio presenter, and writer. Andrew writes crime thrillers, Young Adult, and fantasy books as well as blogging about writing and other stuff that he feels strongly about.
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One Response to Using your past in your writing

  1. Reblogged this on thejanusparadigm and commented:
    All material comes from somewhere and the old adage of writing what you know is what makes the reader empathise and in some cases even say to themselves, ‘Well at least that never happened to me!’ or indeed question how they would react if it did…

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