When we as writers create our stories and the characters that inhabit them we usually will put a piece of ourselves on the page. Whether it is our point of view, our beliefs or even something from our own lives, we are there. We leave ourselves raw and vulnerable exposing moments happy and sad for the world to see.
But when you share something that is true how far do you go? I know we do the whole "names have been changed to protect innocent" thing, but what else? Do you give details about the actual event. Do you describe the emotions that ran through your body or gloss over it? Do you share only true happy moments or are you comfortable divulging the tragedies as well?
I am a rather forthcoming person for the most part. I share things many would believe to be inappropriate or unnecessary. It has been shared on Facebook as well as here on my blog that I was diagnosed with PTSD a decade ago. I actually got it several years earlier but that is when I was first informed of it. I survived a very traumatic and abusive relationship in my teens and now I am taking part in an author event against domestic violence.
I had planned to write an entirely fictional story but a character jumped up and demanded to tell her story, my story, instead. The short story is called Survivor and it is the account of what I went through. I have changed the names as well as altered a few other parts but for the most part it is exactly what happened. Is it too far to share something so personal? Will it make others regard me differently or think less of me for broadcasting my past?
How honest is too honest as a writer? We share things overtime we put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard but they are generally tiny aspects of ourselves and can be easily looked past or go unnoticed entirely. I made the decision ultimately to share my story in hopes that someone in a similar position may see that I made it and know they are not alone, that they can make it out as well. I just hope it reaches those that could use it and will not simply turn people away for its honesty.