This genre scares the shit out of me, and yet I write it frequently. When I was younger, I was too afraid to have my stories about Alex titled "Alex's Stories" so I code-named him Matt. (I'm not sure why, I really liked the name at the time).
Anyways...it's always been difficult for me to admit that my writings were truthful, that I loved this person this much, that I cheated on this person, that I cut myself, that I hate myself.
AWP has helped me step out of that. I've submitted two creative nonfiction pieces (as previously stated in past blogs), and tomorrow I will be shipping off another, one that hits much more close to home and hurts a lot of people. Granted, I hate names so most of my stories lack them (especially when in first person), this one has Mike's name repeated throughout it (though I never use last names).
I texted Laura today saying "I think he's mad at me," and she replied, "He needs to understand that you're a writer, and he's a story in your life." *This is quoted very loosely* I also told Pat about the story I had submitted. After all it is written from his perspective of the "affair". He told me he hopes it gets published and to let him know how it goes, which amazes me. I never used his name, but I used his mannerisms, and secrets that he told to me in private (I've had him read this story), and he's allowing me to show it to the world. I am so thankful for his support even if it's taken us awhile to get to his place.
Mike on the other hand constantly tells me that he hopes it doesn't get in ("though if it does, I'll be proud of you"). This hurts, a lot. It's not just our story I'm writing about and getting rejected by. It's my writing ability, my ability to convey something that at the time was important to me, and he doesn't see that. Instead he sees me displaying our failure of a relationship....
Either way, as a writer it's something I'll have to deal with. I will offend a lot of people. But in my poetry class, I defended Sylvia Plath's writings saying "Fuck her kids, it's her writing. If she hated her life, then she should be allowed to write about it." I also get irrationally angry when I hear people bash someone for being honest. I've lied my entire life (and been lied to). I've doubted my entire past (including where I was born). It's time for me to start being able to write about it, and have other people read it.
It's my story that I'm writing. You know I write scenes and stories from experience. If you don't want to be a character, get out of my life, thanks. :)