Today I was walking back from running an errand. The streets were packed with people here to see the game between Ohio State and Wisconsin and drink and have a good time. There were people selling food and T-shirts and Buckeye gear all over the place. I barely noticed any of it. My mind was turning over other things: money and school, my two biggest worries in life these days.

I’m not going to unload my problems on this blog, at least not this post. That’s not what this post is about. But I will say that even with a job and some side gigs and the little money I get from writing, life’s still expensive. Tuition, rent, and groceries is what I pay for the most. And I wonder, as plenty of other people around the world and from all walks of life wonder, how I’m going to write it all.

And as I’m turning all this in my head, walking to the ATM to make a deposit and then head home, an idea for a short story pops into my mind. It’s more magical realism than horror,  but I think to myself, this sounds like a crazy good idea for a short story. I can base it around my own life, giving it an authentic touch. And I get to include some monsters in this story too! Imagine how much fun it’ll be to write that sort of story! A bit therapeutic too, that’s always good for the mind, body and soul.

Now I’m at home, writing up this post before I start on a paper for my English class. I have to say, writing about this had made me happier, even as it had occurred to me that it make my family worry about me because I’m blogging about money woes while talking about an idea for a short story involving my money woes. But like I said, I feel better writing about this, and if it guilt trips someone into buying my work, all the better.

I probably shouldn’t have written that last sentence. Oh well.

Now I’m wondering, does anyone else write about their problems? Do they use fiction of any sort to release and share their problems? I’m pretty sure there are plenty of literary authors who do just that, but I don’t usually read literary fiction. I bet there are plenty of other writers who include their problems in their genre work,, but none come to mind at the moment. But I think that stories like those are probably some of the best. It’s someone sharing their life, having a conversation with themselves and with others through a fiction story. It feels real, even if there are vampires or knights in shining armor or other weird things in their stories. And those sort of stories are the ones where people can really identify with the authors and the characters, because they’re thinking to themselves, I’ve been in that situation before, and it sucks.

Well, I’ve got the idea stored away now, so when I’m done with Video Rage and Laura Horn I’ll be able to remember it. I’ve got a little over thirty different ideas for short stories written down right now, so I’ll definitely have plenty of stuff to write about when I finish my two current works-in-progress. I could even write another, longer collection of short stories if I wanted to.

Hmm…another collection of short stories. Not a bad idea.

Until then though, I’ve got a paper to work on. Wish me luck! I’m aiming to get an A on this paper. I’ll settle for a B if I have to, but an A’s the goal at the moment.

Do you ever incorporate your life’s problems into your fiction? How do you do it? And what has been the result of that?

  1. karmicangel says:

    I’m cheering for an A on that paper, and in answer, sure, I think some of my short stories circle around current issues in my life. Therapeutic and from the heart, so there’s no downside.

    • I agree Angela! And thanks for your support, I hope do well on the paper as well. Good thing we’re being required to turn in first drafts. I think my teacher not only wants us to be proficient in writing essays, but also in writing critiques, which is why we do drafts in her class.

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