Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Is it wrong . . .

. . . to find inspiration for writing in the troubles of your friends?

I hate to say/write it, but I often find the initial inspiration for my writing from the limited - friends, work, situations, life - world around me. I cleverly - at least I hope I do it cleverly and not transparently, because if it's done transparently, boy am I in t-r-o-u-b-l-e (Facts of Life, Tootie, if you have no clue, you're much too young . . . dangit!) - weave reality into my writing, weaving the threads of fiction around the reality to protect the innocent (well, more like the guilty . . .). Is it wrong to do this? Should I just bypass the juicy tidbits of life? Should I be more respectful of my friends and not include the sordid details of their lives within my writing?

I really have no guilt (that's an amazing thing, since I was raised Catholic, and guilt was beat into me on a daily basis by the nuns at parochial school - okay, I didn't go to parochial school, or get beat by nuns, but the imagery was good!) about using these tidbits of real life. I only take the bare minimum of tidbits and then explore every corner of the glass houses my friends, but not I (seriously, I hope I don't live in a glass house, because what I did the other day . . . I'm just saying . . .) live in. I expound upon the tidbits, delve into the dark depths of my imagination and create conflict and - I am a gay man after all, it is pretty much second nature to me - DRAMA in the lives of the characters I create. Somebody get the jewelry polish out, my tiara is getting dull. So, no guilt, really, absolutely, none at all, and yet this sentence is rambling on as if the guilt vulture was sitting on my shoulder and - one by one - pulling out the hairs on the top of my head. Now, that would explain the slight bald patch. Dratted vulture!

So, my question remains the same: Is it wrong to find inspiration for writing in the troubles of your friends? Do I pass up the opportunity (sometimes it doesn't come knocking as often as I want) for creativity? Or, do I go with the flow and hope nobody figures out I'm writing about them?