Why do you write what you write?
“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.”
— Sylvia Plath
I was a guest on a podcast the other day discussing my upcoming young adult novel, Just a Girl in the Whirl and the host asked me how I came up with the idea for my story.
Well, I was at a film panel in Hollywood a few years ago listening to a producer talk about how he takes his daughter out to dinner once a week just for one on one time with her. I remember thinking that was so sweet. It’s such a good way for his daughter to feel special and seen by her dad. Then I couldn’t hear anything else he said because my writerly brain kidnapped my thoguths and started asking questions. “What if the dad was only doing that out of guilt for some reason? What if he was actually a lousy dad and trying to make up for it?” “What if the daughter didn’t want to go to these dinners?”
I thought out a story about a family and I called it “The Tuesday Dad.” I went home and wrote the TV pilot. It received some positive industry feedback but time passed and nothing came of it so the following year, I changed the title and added magical elements, and turned it into a screenplay, “A River in Egypt.” Then another year passed and since the TV show or the feature didn’t get made, I turned it into a book, Just a Girl in the Whirl. I was all set to self publish but at the last minute I found a publisher and it’ll be out May 11th!
The host said, Wow, you really needed to tell this story!
And you know what? I hadn’t thought of it like that. It’s fiction, not a memoir, so why do I need to tell this particular story? Why didn’t I just let it RIP like so many others? I usually move on to my next story without much fanfare. I like to keep things moving. But this question stayed with me. And NOW I am wondering,
why this story?
The main character, Lauren, is “me” in the same sense that all my characters are aspects of me but my dad didn’t bail on us, my mom was not bi-polar and I’m the baby of the family, not the oldest burdened with responsibility. Lauren is a poet. Me too. But that’s not it. I know there’s something more. I don’t know yet what it is that compelled me to write it and to not give up on it.
I told the host that I didn’t know and she said, I can’t wait to find out.
“You can make anything by writing.”
— C.S. Lewis
How about you? Do you know why you write what you write? Do tell.
Just a Girl in the Whirl
Amazon.com: Just a Girl in the Whirl eBook: Wood, Annie: Kindle Store
About the book:
Seventeen-year-old Lauren is a closet poet trying to keep her messy family together. She juggles responsibility for her two younger sisters and her bipolar mother. When her allegedly now sober father wants back into their lives to reconnect, everything spins out of control and Lauren’s writing is her only escape.
Just a Girl in the Whirl is about family, forgiveness, and being bold enough to create your own life, your own way.
About the author:
I’m an Israeli-American, Hollywood, CA native who likes writing characters who are real, fractured, & funny. A common theme of mine is embracing your youness by not following the fold. Also, I’m a TV/film actor & Internationally exhibited mixed media artist.