Who are you? No, I don’t mean your name or age or sex. Who are you deep down inside? (where nobody knows, where nobody sees)
Before you write your story, before you can know your characters well enough to write about them, you must know yourself, because all emotion and experience that you write about is first filtered through you. The secret of your individuality and your writing style lies in the kind of person you are, the personal values you hold dear.
Your writing will say something to your readers. You will be saying what you believe. Be sure you know what that is. Whatever you believe, like, or dislike deep down inside yourself will come to the surface in your writing. That is why it is important for you to know about you.
To tap that inner self, first, either sit down in front of the computer and type, or get a pencil or pen and a notebook to write in. Make five headings on five different pages, labeled as follows:
1. What do I like?
2.What don’t I like?
3.What do I want?
4.What don’t I want?
5.What do I get really upset about?
6.What is wrong with my life?
7.What is right with my life?
Next, fill those pages. Don’t censor. Don’t edit. Just write down what comes to you. If you’re on a roll and need more than one page for any one topic, (or even all topics), that’s great. Don’t cut your thoughts off to just to keep to one page.
This doesn’t have to happen all at once. You can do one page a day, or put in a little on each page and keep coming back to them. Allow up to a week for this excercise. Put in everything you can possibly think of from the purely physical to the metaphysical. Tangible to intangible. Material to spiritual. You get the picture.
After you finish all seven pages, read them over again. Now set the pages aside and save them. This analysis is just for you. No one else is supposed to see it. Put down exactly what you think, your real opinions. You don’t need to show them to anyone.
Get another set of pages and label them.
8. Things I know about. Include what you have done and where you have been. Include jobs, skills, hobbies, sports, history, roles (being a mother, father, etc.)
9. Things I’d like to know about. Include anything, jobs, skills you want to learn, what you’d like to study and learn.
Put these pages with the first five so you can refer to them when you need them. Getting ideas from yourself means knowing yourself.
Next Post will be: 11 Ways to Find Ideas for Writing