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The demons that drive writers — 8 Comments

  1. I’m glad you did what you had to do to be happy.
    I have had my battles with the bottle and with naval-gazing and know that getting lost in art is therapy for me. Expressing my anger and frustration and my joy is absolutely necessary for me because I cannot be fixed. I’m a product of my genes, my upbringing and my choices.

    That is where acceptance comes in. As a Southerner I find dark humor in my crazy family life and my history of neurotic self-flagellation. That’s why i enjoy Flannery O’Conner and Twain so much I guess. But reading Cheever’s short stories is wonderful too and teaches one how your typical bourgeois latte drinker can surprise you when the veneer cracks…crack, crick, crick…!

  2. I hear you. Mine did some similar things and some way off the radar. Luckily, I have a fair amount of f u in my dna. 🙂

  3. Interesting. “…from an early age you turn inward, you start pulling yourself apart….”

    I don’t know when I first became interested in making stories, it was a long time ago. Is that how it happened?

    Overcoming a difficult past can be done, but the most challenging part for me has been isolating, identifying, and rooting out the “limp” resulting from those ancient internal injuries.

    I initially wrote 7 paragraphs here about my own upbringing, how it affected my growth into adulthood, and how much work I have done as an adult to overcome, but I believe it was more pertinent to my own learning than it was to the discussion at hand.

    Thank you for the insight, it has given me another opportunity to look at my own scars and see how their distortion may have affected my life as an adult.

  4. Your mom sounds a lot like mine. Except mine wouldn’t bother to write. She’s a gas lighter, and smart enough not to give written evidence of her words to be referenced later.

    You are an inspiration to a lot of people. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  5. Uggh! Rotten relatives do provide drama fodder, I know, At times I almost would have been willing to cut off a finger if I’d thought that would make them a fraction as good as one-shot tv versions. The best that could be said is there was no physical abuse. After being manipulated and criticized one time too many, at 44 I cut myself off too. They never even told me they dropped their landline which made calling them for my sibling’s heart attack impossible. We exchange polite holiday cards, and that’s it.

    I have to be careful to watch that I don’t color similar fictional relationships like them. I’m much happier, and sad that my sibling still has not stepped off that rollercoaster.

  6. And I thought I had had a miserable up-bringing but mine can not hold a candle to yours. I’m glad you’ve been able to channel your anger to foster an amazing career. I’m still plugging away but I have never been able to interest anyone in publishing anything I have written. In pushing on, I have eight completed novels resting in my hard drive without the prospect of earning dollar ONE. I’ll keep believing if you can do it, so can I and I wish you all the best. You are more than deserving of the best in this life.

  7. Wow! Didn’t expect that. I would never have known your background was so shit*y and I’m sorry you (or anyone else) had to go through that. Compared to yours, my first marriage was a fairy-tale. I actually feel blessed that I didn’t have to endure yours. But – you have recovered from the miasma, fear, hate and other feelings enough to channel the feelings into some hard-hitting wonderful stories.
    I will stay with you, reading your books and blog and trying to write my own stories/books for as long as you continue with your journey. Should I out-live you, I’ll still work on my stories because you’re an example of continuing in the face of adversity or prosperity and being yourself always.

    • And that’s why I told this story. Because bad pasts and adversity can be overcome. Can be walked away from and survived.

      Life is amazing and wonderful, a gift that you get to enjoy for an uncertain amount of time. It is worth leaving the sources of pain and misery behind to create your own best possible life.

      I’m glad I cut ties with those people. It was agonizing at the time, but it was the right thing to do.

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