Sunday, February 24, 2013

4 Ways To Use Life's Problems In Your Writing

The last few weeks have been filled with the kinds of troubles that break lesser writers.

Forget writers, how about humans (men and women). It doesn't matter where you live or what your occupation might be. Your age or anything else. One thing is certain. Whether your American, Russian, Japanese, British, African, Brazilian or other, you have to deal with life's problems. 

We all have them. Gotta eat. Gotta pay the bills. Gotta have fun some way (Fun is essential). And if you're a writer, these problems can de-rail your writing. It can, but shouldn't. So, here are four ways to use life's problems to help your writing.

1. Consider problems as an inevitable way of life: Face it. Life is full of problems. Can't get around it. Accept this truth, then you can use problems to advance your writing. There's no way to live life without drama. Come to think of it, drama is what drives fiction. That leads us to #2.

2. The more problems you experience, the more you can write about with firsthand experience: This doesn't mean we should look for problems, but if they find you, don't get depressed. Take notes. You find yourself lost in love? Maybe jobless? Dealing with the death of a loved one? Whatever it may be, yes it's painful. So, take notes. Write what you feel. Write what you experience. Write it ALL down. Odds are someone else going through the same thing will relate. If you can put it in writing, you've gained a reader. And if you're a writer, you must always remember that you need readers. Readers are your audience, and you must understand your audience, which leads us to #3.

3. Use your problems to walk in your readers' shoes: Write what you know is what we're talking about. But... what if you've never walked in your readers' shoes? Well, see every problem you encounter as a way to relate to more readers. I mean this. For example, what if you've been cheated on in love. Heartbreaking. This destroys lives. Nobody wants to experience it, but if you do and are a writer, you can share that experience. Why? Because odds are some of your readers have been there, too. If they read your work and how you dealt with it, they might have a better chance of overcoming it. If they overcome it by reading about your experience, well...how do you think they'll think of you? This leads us to #4.

4. Be vulnerable. Share it all and you'll help yourself and your readers: Look up the word "catharsis." That's what you can experience if you write through your problems. It's great therapy for you to get all that poison out of your system. Put the poison in words on the computer screen or on paper. Get it there so that it doesn't remain in your body. If it remains in you, it continues to poison you. Get it out! Yes, you reveal your soul to others, but they will appreciate it because your readers are just as hurt as you. They want help. You, the writer, can help them. They may not be strong enough to put their hurts into words. But you are strong enough. You are a writer. You can do it. So... do it now!

Do you know more ways to use life's problems to help your writing? Share your comments. Help us. You're a writer with valuable knowledge to share.

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