I’ve always known that I would write about my experience with full-grown neighbourhood bullies. I just wasn’t sure how best to tell the story, whether as a monologue, a play or a book. I thought it had to be a first-person account, and I struggled to get to a place where I could begin to write about a very painful period in my life. I had many false starts as I tried to go over it all in my head. I considered how to write about people I know, and I worried a lot about leaving out the things I may have forgotten. Names, dates, newspaper headlines and the necessity of getting it right all hounded me.
Then I remembered that I’m not a journalist.
I’m a novelist: I pull the truth out of everyday details and I weave it into fiction that illuminates some aspect of the human experience. (Or, so I like to think.)
What point would rehashing every little detail and putting it into chronological order serve other than to bring my pain to the world-wide stage of the internet? Really, that shit’s personal and it’s not going to help anyone. And, quite frankly, I don’t want to relive it in TechniColor.
The new work is full-on fiction inspired by what I gained from a bad situation. I’m finished talking about it as a victim and ready to give it some artistic thought. I’ve moved on with my life and have no interest in going backwards, but it’s also important to learn from the past. What did I take away from the experience and how do I turn that into art?
(First step: find a new title.)