No Wasted Experiences

To begin, I want to make it clear I’m not implying that simply writing about an experience will make the pain and suffering disappear. What I do believe, is that the experiences we have, gives each of us our unique perspectives.

A writer who has lived in a war zone, has endured unimaginable terror. Having lived in a peaceful country like Canada,  I can write a battle scene, or perhaps a story about an alien invasion. What I can’t do, is inject the same raw fear that comes from the real life experience of someone who has heard bombs exploding around them, and witnessed the carnage of war. Their writing will have a much more powerful impact on the reader.

Have you ever won a trophy, or run across a finish line first? If the he answer is yes, then whether it was when you were twelve or thirty-two, the thrill of winning is burned in your memory. You can use that to your advantage, because when you write about a character that has just been elected President, you can remember the unbridled enthusiasm, and your description of her emotions will be genuine.

Recently, I used that same principle to write a short story, “An Appointment With Life.” In my case, it was the experience, many years ago, of being rejected by all the law schools I applied to, and watching a dream come crashing down. The good news is the story was accepted and published in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of the Ambrosia Literary Review: If you’re interested, you can download the issue in that website’s Archives section.

What unusual events have occurred in your life, that could be included in a novel or screenplay? There are over seven billion people on the face of the Earth, and not one of them has had exactly the same experiences as you. You’re a one of a kind person, which also makes you a one of a kind writer. Keep writing, because the world is a boring place without your voice, your passion.

Copyright © 2020 by J. Paul Cooper