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Plumb Your Depths

I have issues.

Don’t we all?

I have strong feelings on things and scary thoughts and prejudices and experiences that date back almost thirty years now.  The more I write the more patterns begin to emerge in my writing that suggest themes I’m interested in and issues that draw me.

Sometimes I want to write a story that ventures into uncharted territory for me.  Thoughts that have lingered in the back of my mind for my whole life, but I’ve never paid much attention to.  Drawing them out into the open by putting them in a story can be freaky.

Each time I write something I know it reveals a bit about my inner self.  Like I mentioned in my Inner Darkness post, what’s being revealed isn’t always sunshine and lollipops.  I used to think that all of this was bad and wrong.  I wanted to keep my inner thoughts on the inside because if I let them out the world would know what a horrible person I am.  That I’m flawed, biased and harsh.  Turns out I don’t believe all that though.  I believe I am human and writing allows me to dig into that humanity and pull out all the guck and wonder.  In a short period of time I’ve covered a broad range of subjects that have affected my life in some way, from forced confinement to sexual abuse to eating disorders to true love and although it’s all revealing of the thoughts that flutter through my mind, it’s certainly not proof positive that I’m a big jerk.

The more I write the more I take pause when I have a thought.  The more I write the more I want to pay attention to those thoughts that make me take pause.  I wonder how I can explore them and plumb the depths of my psyche so I can find the things that matter to me and write about those.  It doesn’t matter how dark, it doesn’t matter how happy or brutal the endings are, all that matters is that I am exploring all those bits of me that I have previously ignored.

I wonder how often writers miss opportunities to write about something that truly matters to them because they’re only skimming the surface of their thoughts?

Do you avoid the depths or do you dive right down and try to find the issues that make you squirm?