Writing and Roles

I decided to write a short story. My head is filled with ideas, but I’m struggling to get it written. Writing gives us the opportunity to become the hero/heroine we’ve always longed to be in real life… will my character be seen as brave or will she be deemed a coward? Will she be likeable or will she be boring and lifeless? Will the reader pull for her to succeed? Will they care? And then there’s the writing itself…what if it’s awful? What if the whole thing is a dud? What happens then?

Thinking about family today, I wonder how our roles define us and when those roles become assigned. Are we assigned the roles when our individual personalities emerge or do our personalities develop into a predetermined role? (Is anyone else tiring of all the questions in this post?)

In a lot of families, there are the following roles played out: the smart one, the hard worker, the trouble maker, the funny one, the logical one, the brave one, the generous one, the sweet one, the good one… Not being top of my class or particularly driven toward success, I have at some points in my life fallen into the role of the “sweet” one- it could have been worse, though it seems to be terribly mistaken. Ask my coworkers! There may be a hint of sweetness there, but it’s mixed with a hefty dose of passive-aggressiveness, bluntness, and an awful stubborn streak.

Perhaps the character I’m developing in the story reflects the roles defined by my family or the roles I define for myself. Maybe the anxiety I feel about writing the story reflects my fears of people seeing the “real” me.

Typing all these questions has led me to the decision to just go for it (as my son would do) and see what happens. It’s time to be the “brave” one.

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