From me – of me – yet not always about me…


A note of explanation. I posted this piece the other day but then sent it back to drafts for reconsideration. So if you are seeing this twice – my apologies.

Ray’s comments (which you will see below) sent me into a ferment of thinking about whether a writers work was indeed autobiographical or not (yeah thanks for that Ray – not as if I don’t have a full enough brain 😉

This morning I came to the conclusion that he is right (Ray) all work is autobiographical in the sense that it is written from the point of view of the writer and filtered through the particular and personal lens though which they view the world.

Given a topic at writers group, we are constantly amazed at the variety of stories that eventuate. Yet – all of us – if hearing those stories read back to us (and for the first time) by a stranger, could tell who wrote it just by the way it was written.

The original post:

Is my work autobiographical?

Writing and writers are funny things.

We produce from the depths of our heart

Bleeding out onto the page

About love

About illness

About feelings

And we feel

So many things


We shape shift, taking on personas

Imagining ourselves as this or that

We hear a story

Watch the news

And wonder

“How would I feel if that were me?”

Which of course is the beginning of our strange disease

Explaining concepts to ourselves

We breathe life into the ephemeral

Grab it from the thought cloud and start to paint



paint it into being with words

The keyboard or pen becomes our brush

The canvas exists in our own mind

And that of others who read it

Is my work autobiographical?




It is everything I have imagined

Then painted into my own mind

Painted into yours





Some parts of it actually happen to me

Some relates to how I imagine things to be

If it were me being another person

Trying on their skin

Wearing it around

Feeling what it’s real like

To be



In love

Out of love

Poverty stricken

or just sickened

with some awful disease

At war

In the war

Protesting the war

A returning soldier

This point of view


Spinning it all around in my mind




tapping it

into the keyboard

Does this make it less mine?


Poetry is the breath of the poet

Once emitted from the mouth

the body

onto the paper

into the screen

It does not cease to be




Even when it morphs



and is changed endlessly

by the temperature and shade

of each mind that it enters

The source remains the same

Implacably intentional

Imbued with its original



Is my work autobiographical?

No not always

Does it belong to me?


Always and forever




Such a funny thing when someone asks about my poetry and you can see that questioning look in their eyes “did this happen to her? Is this happening to her?”

One would never think to ask the author of a fictional work “did this happen to you?” yet people assume that songwriting and poetry always stems from personal experience.

It doesn’t.

When I am writing I am every man and every woman and it doesn’t just stop there. I imagine my self into animals and flowers and inanimate objects as well.  

Perhaps that is the addictive quality of writing – we get to move in other worlds.

As I say above – some of my poetry is based on my own life and some is imagined. I simply love to write poetry and in doing so tell stories with it. I’m sure most poets, songwriters and fiction writers would understand this concept (and wonder why I am explaining it) however not all my readers are writers so  – for them – I wrote this post.



3 thoughts on “From me – of me – yet not always about me…

    • To a point Ray but if I’m writing a fictional short story poem about something – such as a couple of short stories I’ve posted here and a few short story poems as well then…although it is written from my imagination – it is not a true story. But then all stories are true to someone so…it’s a spinning set of dice I guess.

  1. good point, the writer’s voice is identifiable, as you say, though to Ray’s point, much of what we pen is a compilation of life, both autobiographical and universal (people, places and emotions everyone has). Truth from both of you, lol.

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