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Write from your Experiences

Hey guys, got a guest post here from one of our members, Saraina! She also happens to be a friend of mine, and my sisters you get one of us and you get all of's a packaged deal. Anyway, Saraina wrote this for our Sisters Three blog when it was on Wix but then we moved to WordPress, which has been great btw, and we didn't bring our old post over. So, I asked her if I could post this here and she kindly agreed that I could!

(Sorry, I think this is late....just so everyone knows. Pretty sure I was supposed to post this a week or two ago...hahaha...)

Anyway, enough chat from me, here's the post!


“There is a writing from one’s suffering that can be more powerful than writing about one’s suffering - art forged in a hidden crucible.”

- James K. A. Smith

This quote stuck with me like a magnet when I first saw it. Because it’s so true. You can tell when an author is writing from their own suffering and their own experience. It shines through their writing and gives it a depth and relatability that can’t be contrived. You can sense that what they’re writing about matters to them, and that passion flows into your own heart. And suddenly it matters to you!

I’ve found that drawing from my own experiences when writing my books gives the writing a realness that can transform even fantastical situations into something that feels true. It’s because I’ve felt those same emotions that the character is feeling. Writing like this makes me feel so fulfilled. I’m sharing my heart with the world but through my characters’ perspectives.

Now I definitely don’t write like this as consistently as I want. Often my writing feels flat and insincere - and that’s okay! First drafts are first drafts for a reason. But I have discovered a few tips that help me draw from my own experiences and unblock my creativity.

The first tip I have is to know WHY you’re writing. Find out the message you’re trying to share with the world in your book. That message is the theme of your book. (And it’s okay to have more than one theme, as long as they are specific and narrowed down to just a few major ones. Having too many can become confusing.) When you nail down the theme - the reason you’re writing, it centers you and gives you the direction you need, even if the plot is still unclear. And when you figure out your theme, it’s surprisingly helpful to go over that theme every time before you work on your book.

A few weeks ago I spent a lot of time figuring out the theme of my own book. After hours of brainstorming, I finally narrowed down on the one that felt most right. And I realized it was a theme that had been born from my own suffering in life - “art forged in a hidden crucible”. The lesson I had learned through the suffering changed me for the better, and that lesson became the theme I chose for my book.

The second tip is to focus on what your characters are feeling. When you focus on what your characters are feeling, it becomes easier to search through your memory for a time you felt the same way; then you suddenly relate with your character! Exploring and diving into the characters’ emotions can also transform writing from being a cold, boring process into a fun, enlightening experience.

Third, music can be SO helpful to connect emotionally with your story! I’m a bit obsessed with playlists, but seriously, create a playlist of songs that fit with your story - especially instrumental music, my favorite being movie soundtracks. Good movie soundtracks are rich with feeling and are a mode of storytelling just by themselves. My favorites include The Lord of the Rings, How to Train Your Dragon, The Chronicles of Narnia, Emma (BBC), and The Hobbit soundtracks. Don’t look down on songs with lyrics, though; they can work surprisingly well as long as you focus on your writing, not the lyrics. So go and have fun making a writing playlist!

The final tip is just a reminder: your experiences are enough. Even if you’ve never had dramatic events happen to you in real life, you have enough to build on. You have experienced sadness, anxiety, regret, anger, joy, peace, and love just through being a human. Remember how you reacted to each of those emotions, how you expressed them, and USE that in your writing. You will end up feeling amazingly fulfilled, and your readers will thank you for it.

I hope this inspired you to use your experiences and yes, even your suffering in your writing. Pain is painful. But it’s a part of what makes us human. It’s how you know you’re alive, as Cimorelli’s song “Alive” says. God takes what is broken and scarred and creates it into a masterpiece. So remember, “There is a writing from one’s suffering that can be more powerful than writing about one’s suffering - art forged in a hidden crucible.”

About the Author!

Hi! I’m Saraina, a bookworm, and writer! In real life I’m pretty quiet, usually lost in my thoughts, observing people, or sharing inside jokes. (I do have a crazy side though!) I love music and singing, quotes, learning about MBTI personality types, and watching epic, sweet, or funny movies. The Green Ember series and The Wingfeather Saga are my favorite books and I’m a huge fan of their respective authors.


Wow! Wasn't that great? Let us hear you're thoughts in the comments! Thanks so much for writing that Saraina! (Also, I might have edited the bio just a bit by taking out the references to me and my sisters...hope that's alright.)

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