After posting my introduction to Gretchen, my newly emerged Inner Censor, I read it to a writing group. The first response was, “Is this fiction or what?”
“No. It is not fiction. Strange as it may sound, I did meet Gretchen, and she is quite real — at least to me.” That explanation sparked a lively discussion of reality, truth, writing about arcane events and beliefs and all sorts of good things. Somebody mentioned that it’s normal for children to have imaginary playmates.
“Sarabelle and Gretchen are not imaginary.” I assured them. A few eyeballs briefly rolled at that. If they didn’t know me so well by now, I have no doubt that some would suggest medication or exorcism!
After several minutes, we collectively agreed that I had accessed some deeper well of creativity in my right brain, and all considered it a fun story and intriguing concept, whatever the source. That seems to represent comfortable common ground for all belief systems, from secular to sacred, and it’s a tidy and functional way of putting things.
This discussion poses an interesting dilemma. If I put the story of my Inner Writing Team and all the conversations I have with seemingly imaginary people in a collection of stories for future generations, they may well think that Granny was a total nutcase, assume that these conversations are purely creative writing, or both.
Obviously, if I want them to be taken seriously, I must place these stories in a larger context. I could take the easy way out and simply explain them as the workings of various aspects of my creative subconscious, but I’m inclined to be a little more explicit. I do believe there’s more to it than that, but the alternate explanations are highly intuitive and fuzzy in my mind. It's a matter of degrees of self-disclosure. For strangers and casual acquaintances, the easy answer is fine.
One major challenge I face in writing such a story is that it keeps changing. My understanding continues to evolve as I learn new things and explore various aspects of what I already know. I anticipate this will be the case as long as I live, so whatever I write can be only an approximation. Perhaps I need to take my own advice and remember that “anything I write about this is better than writing nothing.”
Write now: about a non-traditional idea you have, whether in the “woo-woo” realm or simply questioning common wisdom and beliefs.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal