There are times when I take too much enjoyment in what I write. Doesn’t happen much, because I like to keep things in the real, but with my newest story, I find myself thinking about a time when I wasn’t at my happiest, and how I thought times might get better, but probably wouldn’t.
In other words, I’ve been thinking of The Undisclosed Location.
Last year at this time I was away from home, taking up residence in a strange town, and starting work at a strange company. It wasn’t the best situation at the time, and I wasn’t happy about having to uproot and spend so much time away from that which I found familiar. I did my best, I tried to get through each day–not always with success, I should point out–and I wrote. I wrote a lot.
The worse thing about the place was the people. The company felt cold and impersonal, the people unfriendly and too eager to guard their own little ponds of power. I’ve seen this happen in other companies, but here it was so blatantly obvious that it was impossible to ignore that you, yes you, were always going to be looked upon as an outsider for you entire stay.
Needless to say, I didn’t have a good time at this company, and with having to maintain two abodes and travel back and forth on the weekends, I actually lost money on the deal. My loathing for the place was so great that when 10/11/13, a Friday, rolled around, and I was told that my position was being eliminated, I wasn’t upset in the least. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, actually.
My main male character in Suggestive Amusements is a person who doesn’t like what he does and doesn’t care for the people he works alongside. He would rather be a writer, which makes him sound like me, though I’m certain that’s just a coincidence. He is constantly reminded that his life is in something of a dead end, and if he could move away from his graphic design work and into tale telling for a living, he’d happily leave that old life behind in a moment.
As I started writing about what happens to Keith next, a few weeks after Erin the Muse comes into his life, I find that I’m getting into his life at work, and in particular his relationship with his manager, I began tapping into some residual feelings I have concerning my former employer, and the people I’ve worked on. It is said that, as a writer, you should write what you know. I guess I’m knowing too much about what I didn’t like, and it’s showing.
I know I shouldn’t take that personally, then let it show up as attributes in my characters; I shouldn’t allow them to live out the things I may have wanted to do from time to time . . .
Then again, there is always a bit of us that shows up in our writing. Sometimes it’s an experience, sometimes it’s a life event. You can’t avoid it–
We have to write about everything: it’s why we’re writers.