I always try to draw on my own emotions and experiences when writing, to make my characters more life-like and relatable. But sometimes a story idea itself springs from my struggles, and perhaps that is when I do my best, truest work.
Why? Why do I change my name and my face, my culture and maybe my planet, to tell a story from my own life? It might be to gain a little distance, a little perspective and objectivity.
But I think I do it out of loneliness.
I create another person in another place going through my struggle so I feel less alone. Finally there is someone who understands every iota of my pain, and works through it alongside me.
That’s what I hope my best, truest stories can do for someone else in this world, maybe just one person I’ve never met, who picks up a story out of loneliness and finds she is not alone after all.
In writing this out, I’ve realized something else: if I’m looking for the balm that comes of deep, shared pain, I’ve already found Him. I hope I can remember that, going forward, and lean on my Lord Jesus Christ more than I am wont to.
As I write, and try to help, and try to heal.