writing from experience (when you have none)

As someone who discovered the art of the clickbait opinion article not too long ago, I have been told by my fair share of angry keyboard warriors that I don’t have enough life experience to comment on just about anything. How dare I open my mouth or pick up a pen? I haven’t suffered. I haven’t lived for many decades, seen the world change, LIVED the change, been to war and back again, lived through tragedy. What gives me the right? What gives me the AUDACITY to think I HAVE the right?

And, hey. I get it, really I do. And in a world where I could live two lives – one just for the experience, and the next for writing about it – I would do that, without question. But unfortunately, time is linear and also waits for no one, and here I am at the end of a screenwriting degree with every intention of a writing career, whether you or I like it or not. So somehow, I’m going to have to come up with something to fill the page. Experience or no experience. That’s just the cold, hard truth.

But don’t worry. I might not have LIVED, but I have, to some degree, lived. For example, I have eaten food. I have gone to the shops, and even occasionally to different places, like Canberra. I have had arguments with my siblings over whose responsibility it should be to put a fresh roll of toilet paper on the hook when the last one is used up. I have made inexplicable enemies, best friends, friends-that-become-enemies, and enemies-that-become-friends. I’ve dated, with varying degrees of success. Dumped and been dumped. I have questioned whether any of us even exist at all, courtesy of getting way too interested in Sartre when we studied postmodernism in Year 12 English. I’ve been religious, and non-religious. One time, in Year 2, I even got a detention! So take that, haters!

The fact is, even though I have the curse of having lived an extremely flat and boring life (i.e. extremely privileged and lacking suffering of any kind, unless you count the occasional bout of food poisoning), I still feel this insatiable need to put words on a page and have people read them. I know, it’s self-indulgent, it’s narcissistic, and most likely it will end up with me living off the combined salaries of my much wiser siblings, who chose stable, high paying professions to pursue, rather than the dark and scary abyss that is the creative arts.  But it’s also kind of fun.

So if you came here looking to be inspired, shocked, or to have your heartstrings strummed like a goddamn guitar, you’re in the wrong place. It’s only embarrassing moments and fart jokes from this point forward.

Enjoy!

script 2
Excerpt from my university major work ‘Learning Curve’, and living proof that you can fill 60 pages with meaningless scenes based on the important events of your own life, eg. eating chocolate

 

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