An Authentic Life

I sometimes struggle with feeling authentic. I have lived most of my life trying to be exactly what is expected of me. I have bent and twisted to make everyone happy, at the sake of being who I am. As a writer, there is a freedom of exploring different lives. You get to immerse yourself into your characters and live as they would. Your characters get to go on adventures, have grand affairs, fall in love, or they can play in the darker sides of life. So many personalities, so many possibilities. However, what do you do if you are a writer whose personal fears create limitations in the growth of characters? I have found myself holding back in my writing for the fear of perception. The anticipation of peoples’ reactions is overwhelming (hello personal demons). Could this actually be what writer’s block is about? Are writers just trying to get past our own personal hang-ups to fully explore the possibility contained within the pages of the worlds we create? Is this where pseudonyms and alter-egos come in to play? I’ve often wondered if I wrote under another name if it would release me from my self-sustained limitations. Or do we write because we can find the freedom we don’t have in our lives within the pages of a book? How do you know if you are living a full authentic life? How do you know you are creating for the sake of creation and not for escapism? Or are they simply two sides of the same coin? Do we hide behind the words we string together out of fear? Or, is our work rich with possibility because we can slip out of ourselves and become anyone, anywhere? If it is fictional is it any less real? What is your authentic life? What does it look like? I’m getting closer to living mine. But, old demons die hard. It’s not like there is a handbook for vanquishing them. Hmmm…the possibilities in that.

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