Inside the Author’s Mind
by Katherine Mayfield
In my mind there is a voice that never shuts up: “Write! Write! Write!”, it says. This voice has given me innumerable ideas for books over the twenty-year period that it’s been encouraging my writing, and it won’t let me stop.
When I sit down to write, it has already provided subject matter, and as my fingers attack the keyboard, it continually pumps out thoughts, words, ideas, images, and phrases. When I get up in the morning, it’s often right there, insisting that I sit down at the computer and record its thoughts, lest I forget them as the busyness of the day begins.
Many writers call this voice their “muse.” For me, it’s a muse and more—it’s a solid, ever-present part of my identity that provides a near-constant stream of energy for my projects, and thus for my life. I’m very grateful that my muse is inexhaustible—I simply cannot imagine not having anything to write about.
Because I grew up in a very dysfunctional family and experienced emotional abuse at the hands of my parents, this voice craves the opportunity to relate what I write to my recovery from the experience as an adult. It seems to know how many people are hurting as a result of dysfunctional relationships, abuse, and bullying, and it wants to help. So it gets louder and more insistent when I’m not paying attention to it, demanding that my words reach out to those in pain.
For many years, I wondered why I’d had such a difficult experience growing up. It seemed senseless to experience all that distress and unhappiness for no reason. When I began writing, I realized that I wouldn’t have nearly so much to write about if those experiences had not happened. Our experience, whatever it may be, and however is causes us to feel, is grist for the mill of the writer’s life.
There is another voice in my writer’s mind. For ten years, I’ve been working on a novel that always gets pushed aside when the latest “help others” book-seed is born. This voice is at least as much interested in total, imaginative self-expression as it is in writing.
To me, writing is an extremely creative act which can bring mysterious aspects of life—such as heart and soul, feelings, dreams, intuitions—into a form which can be understood, and sometimes utilized, by others. And it offers a supreme opportunity to let imagination fly and self-express in a totally unique way. Whether it’s a novel, memoir, history book, or self-help manual, when people read, their imaginations, thoughts, ideas, and feelings are engaged. The author’s mind shows through the work in terms of style, imagery, characters, and philosophies. I love to read, and I have learned so much over the years from books that I can’t imagine life without them.
Katherine Mayfield is the award-winning author of Bullied: Why You Feel Bad Inside and What to Do About It, a guide to recovery for teens who have been bullied; a memoir, The Box of Daughter: Healing the Authentic Self; a book of poems, The Box of Daughter & Other Poems; and the Kindle book Dysfunctional Families: The Truth Behind the Happy Family Façade. She blogs on dysfunctional families on her website, www.TheBoxofDaughter.com
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Genre - Self Help/Abuse/Bullying
Rating – G
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