My inner child is older and wiser than she used to be.
About a year ago my brother emailed me to ask my opinion of the “accuracy” of some depictions of the writing process in The World According to Garp: “To begin with, is it true that when you write everything seems connected to everything else?” My short answer: “cf: synchronicity.”
When a story is working, when the characters and their motivations are real and defined, it drives itself, and the world is its fuel. It just keeps shoveling ideas in one end, and plot comes out the other. Sometimes all you have to do is pick the words that keep the ideas in order. Yes, everything feeds writing. Some writers may be more focused in terms of which field they let the machine graze in, but whatever you have, that’s what gets in.
He also asked some intelligent questions about how stories are generated, and this is different for every writer, I think, but they don’t tend to spring fully formed like Athena from the brow of Zeus, unless you are very, very lucky. You still have to put the pieces together and keep the mechanism tuned: now it needs a new character, now a change of scenery.
Writing this comic, at this particular time in my life, has grown enlightening. I’m glad so many people are on this journey with me, but I’m writing it for myself. We wouldn’t have set off on this particular path if not for the unfortunate episode of bullying I wrote about a couple weeks back, which in turn led me to ask myself a series of questions, and the questions went deeper and deeper into the past, but kept dovetailing with questions about the present and future. It speaks to me as a tool for understanding, learning, and accepting.
In short, I’m working through some stuff here. Stay tuned. If you dare.