Saturday, November 17, 2012
Write From What You Know - Which Is Probably More Than You May Think
My oldest son and his girlfriend are participating in this thing where they have taken on the challenge of writing a novel during the month of November. It is an internet based, world-wide thing I guess, I have heard a few other people mention it on Facebook, but I originally heard about it from my son. So anyway, we were discussing what he was going to write about for this project and I gave him the same advice I have always given him that he has really never listened to, "write from what you know".
This led us to an entirely different conversation about how truly unique his life has been. I think most people tend to think that if we have not lived a life full of adventure and travel on a grand scale, that somehow this makes our lives boring or mundane. What we often fail to see is that everyone's life is a unique and grand adventure in and of itself, the rest is just gravy.
My son fell into that trap. He is 25 years old, has never been married, has no kids, and has lived his entire life within a couple hundred miles of where he was born, most of it within 50 miles. Why would anyone want to read about his life? Sounds pretty boring and mundane. That is until you figure in the fact that he spent 3 years living in the middle of nowhere with no running water or electricity as a child. That he taught himself to read out there using a battery operated cassette tape player and a set of children's books on tape. Or, add in the fact that out of the 13 years that most kids spend in public school, he did a total of about 5, and then he started College at 16, having never gone to high school at all. As a teen he taught himself computer programing and Japanese, among other things. He also helped raise an Autistic sibling long before most people had even heard of Asperger's Syndrome, and found a way to drag his chronically depressed Mother out of the terminal darkness when everyone around him was conspiring to keep her there.
Okay, so maybe I am a little prejudice in this particular case, the kid is my fucking hero and he knows it. But I think that if you look closely enough at anyone's life you will see that there are probably a lot of things you have done or seen that most people would really find extraordinary even if you don't. I heard somewhere once upon a time that "in everyone's life is an unwritten novel", or something to that effect, and I honestly believe that to be true. Someday I will get my shit together and start writing mine. I know that my boring, mundane little life, is cram packed with all kinds of fascinating experiences that other people probably never even imagined much less lived through. I have shared tiny glimpses into my life here on my Blogs, but there is so much more than I have even begun to hint at. And if my boring little life can have so many interesting tales tucked within it, just imagine how many you might find in yours if you just started looking.