December 29, 2014

The Character Within

By Holly Parker

Sometimes my characters pester me. They run rampant through my mind, waiting in boredom until I pick up the pen and give them some action. I'll be doing the most routine thing in the world and one will pop into my mind with a sort of plea, opinion or request. They want to be let loose. They want to be free. They try to run my whole life.

I feel like a crazy person sometimes, carrying all my characters and plots around with me, but maybe they ultimately provide an escape. This leads me to wonder, can writers separate themselves from their work or is it too much a part of them? When we write are we really just depicting ourselves on paper?

A lot of people ask me where my story ideas or inspiration comes from. And I have a hard time answering that question because there's not one single thing I do to get ideas. Maybe other authors have a set routine or a secret fishing pole of ideas they dip from. As for me, I see and feel and it comes out on paper.

I personally think writing usually stems from the self and life experiences. From the style of writing, to the voice to the genre; an author draws from what they've seen, felt and lived. I sometimes think if I had been born in a different location, time, or family, that my writing may have been completely different. Maybe I wouldn't even write.

Like any artist, any creator, any visionary, we as writers have our inspiration points and we must allow them to lend a hand to our creative endeavors. I honestly don’t think I could separate myself from my writing. I’m too objective, but then writing what you know works, right? Maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to pen ourselves on paper. Maybe we should listen to our inner characters more often. I think I should be more worried if the characters ever stop pestering me or if the ideas stop coming. If I ever feel my work is done.

So don’t be afraid to let loose and listen to your psyche. Be free. Even if you don’t write, the lesson is simple—live life from inside your heart. You are the only person who shares your unique set of experiences and perspective. Write the wisdom and stories captured within. Share yourself with others. You never know where it might lead…
Holly Parker is a southern writer from Birmingham, Alabama. She has invested in a number of different children at childcare programs and is currently employed by the library. She has an English degree from the University of Montevallo with a minor in Writing and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0. Holly is also very involved with her church and helping out with young people in her community. She loves to travel, read, watch Alabama football, take pictures and of course write! She enjoys writing all kinds of genres, but has a passion for blogging and writing Christian fiction. You can follow her blog at and on facebook:

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