Everything we have done or felt shapes us. The people we meet and how they impact on our lives. Love and loss, pleasure and pain. It makes us who we are and we are evolving constantly, incrementally. As writers, who and what we are, all the baggage we have acquired or offloaded on the journey, finds a way consciously or unconsciously into our work.
When I re-read work written years before, tiny details – a name, a turn of phrase – can once more evoke a situation, a person – and I retrieve a once forgotten memory.
Writers are told in manuals and on courses to write from experience. But we can’t help it. That doesn’t mean it has to be literal but it often is. Writing can illuminate, help us understand ourselves and the world.
Life is a journey. Writing is a journey. They are inextricably linked.