Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Too Happy?

I had a great childhood. I have to admit it. And that's apparently a real handicap for a writer.

You read it all the time, about writers – or visual artists, I suppose but I don't know much about them – who had these disastrous childhoods, tormented by crazy or abusive parents, or orphaned, stifled in poverty or burdened with disease, or all of the above and more and worse. And they wring frm the marrow of these awful backgrounds the stuff of their art. They smehow distill truth from their miserable circumstances.

That's not my case at all. I had great parents, and while I'm sure at some points along the way must have been unhappy, I really don't remember anything like that.

My childhood memories resemble a Norman Rockwell painting, while most successful writers' youths apparently were more like a series by Edvard Munch.

I find myself trying to write difficult scenes about people with troubled backgrounds in hard situations, and I'm completely lacking the pschic angst necessary to make it work. I like – I admit it! – happy endings, or at least fitting endings, where even if the protagonists don't get what they thought they wanted, they get what they need. I believe in that.

I lack the cynicism, the world weariness, the bleak outlook, to paint the world black. It's just not in me.

So I guess I'll just have to make it up. Which, after all, is what writers do.

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