I have always loved writing but started thinking very early in life (age 8 approximately) that I couldn't write about everything because I haven't experienced everything, that I could only write about what I had experienced.

I have never been consistent in my writing, I was strongly discouraged from pursuing it as a skill and as a career, and only now that I'm older and that I have "made it" I can envisage giving myself the freedom of coming back to writing (I have a good job, can pay rent in a good part of town, I am older, therefore, I get credit for what I do more easily, I feel).

I am an immigrant to a French-speaking country, I work for a multinational and mostly speak and write in English in my day to day. I am trying to write mostly in my native language when I try to write stories, it is the language in which I am the most nuanced and eloquent so I think it's the safest bet to writing higher quality stories.

However, I still hit the same legitimacy problem every time I try to write a story. There is inevitably a part, a side of the story that I cannot personally relate to, that I only know because it was told to me (I have tried to start writing from personal experience to overcome this legitimacy obstacle, but even recounting a secondary characters reactions or experiences seems hard). I don't feel like I am allowed to tell someone else's story, especially when this person is part of a group I am not part of: a black queer girl, a refugee, a professor, my grandma who grew up in the thirties.

This really keeps me from developing a full story, I often abandon projects because I tell myself I am not legitimate enough to tell this story. I spend a lot of time advocating and learning about minority rights and this often sparks my imagination, creating plots and ideas of lives far from my own, that I am then unable to fully tell.

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Has anyone else had this issue? How do you overcome it?

I write poetry, slams, stand-up texts pretty easily, but I cannot tell any of the stories that I have in my head because of this and short stories are the form of writing I have always liked the most.

TLDR: I don't feel legitimate telling stories other than my own and that is preventing me from finishing any piece of writing. How to overcome it?

Source: reddit post


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