When I started my first novel in 2008, I had strong feelings for a certain guy who shall remain nameless even though a) I’m sure he’ll never read this and b) he’s kind of a douchebag who deserves to be outted. I had dated this person for about eight months and while I was the one who ended things, it was only because I knew he didn’t share my feelings and nothing was ever going to change. I started Just Friends With Benefits a few months after we stopped dating and, while the book was 100% fiction, I based characters on both him and some of the people I’d met through him. By creating a fictional world around characters inspired by him and his friends, I was able to say/do things I never had the opportunity to do in real life and by the time I finished the book, I was completely over him. Closure. Shortly afterward, I had several experiences where the guy I was dating or thought was interested in me simply disappeared, sometimes permanently and sometimes only to pop back in a few weeks (months…) later as if nothing had happened. One time, I had a guy blow me off in the middle of an email exchange regarding who was cooler – Mr. Furley or Mr. Roper (from Three’s Company). Perhaps my preference for Mr. Furley offended him? These experiences thoroughly frustrated me and quite frankly pissed me off! By the time I finished my second novel (not yet published), about a 26 year old woman who dives head first into the NYC dating scene after a 9 year relationship with her first and only boyfriend only to find it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, I had learned that guys like that are just not worth the angst. Closure.
I didn’t write these novels hoping for or expecting closure but my emotional state at the time drove my creative juices and novels were born. I was pleasantly surprised that in addition to providing me with writer’s high (equally as amazing as runner’s high), writing these novels acted as my shrink!
I am now 90 pages into my third novel and, while I am not ready to go into details, I am wondering if, like the others, it will provide closure on some aspect of my life that requires it.
For other authors who might read this, have you ever obtained closure through the writing process?