When I first starting writing I was very interested in the 'subconscious' aspect of the art. In other words, what does this piece reveal about my life, my feelings, my purpose, my (secret) desires, etc.? I've since taken a more serious, professional stance on my work, but I am still amazed by this notion of writing obsessions. I've read numerous books by the same authors and have found similar patterns emerging. For example, some writers' stories are permeated with sexual references, others, astute fashion details. Some authors will always have a character who is a teacher, or a musician, etc. What these things are, I've discovered are the individual authors' obsessions. And of course, we all have our own.
My question is, what continually shows up in your writing? Sports references, extensive descriptions of interior designs, characters who struggle with religious, sexual, political identity? Those things that are always on our minds are the things that end up on the pages we write. What's interesting about this, is sometimes we aren't even aware of this phenomenon.
What are you writing obsessions? For more clarity on the topic, visit my blog http://theintrinsicwriter.blogspot.com/ where I've written an extended post on my own obsessions. Or just reply to this post. Either way, I'd love to get a discussion going!
Based on the responses I've gotten, I really think there is something to all this 'obsession' stuff. That's fascinating about your themes--you're a paranormal researcher? That's so interesting. Not to sound naive here, but have you seen "ghosts"?
I think our writing obsessions are similar to our recurring dreams...there's something about them that are deeply ingrained within us. We may know why and we may not, but nonetheless, they will always surface.
Thanks for your reply; I love hearing about this stuff!
Yes, I am a paranormal researcher. I've been at it for the better part of 15 years now. And you ask a common question. To answer, let me just say that I've seen things I can't explain any other way than to say it was a ghost. But I won't "Bogart" your thread with that conversation. You're welcome to message me privately, if you want to know more. I'm toying with the idea of a series based loosely on my own experiences in the field. Not sure if I should write it or not though.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw!
Ha.ha. Katie! When I started reading this post I said 'look at Katie talking about me'. (Kidding of course), though I'm not kidding that sex turns up a whole lot in my work. Maybe that's why it was so difficult for me to write my annotated memoir. My family encouraged that book, which I can't explain how painful it was trying to finish, and that's pain as in crawling to get to that big fat period (or exclam) on The End!
Now, of course, many freely tell me how they loved the 'sex-free' book, but then give me this strange eye on the rest of my work. I am working on this however... but for now have to suggest stocking up on the flashlights, and maybe investing in locks for them closet or bedroom doors.
Yes, I know how difficult it can with the family and all. Similar "themes" make their way through my writing too! Did you feel you lost something in your memoir by trying to keep it PG-13? I think it's the 'obsessions' that make our work better. They make it come alive.
In this case my hardship was in being bored to tears by stories told no fewer than thousands of times, in thousands of variations! I guess it's easier to read a story for the 1029th time, than to write it. But at least those outside the family who hadn't heard the stories (unbelievable again!!!), enjoyed the stories.