Does living a hard or troubled life make one a better writer?

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  1. Rochelle Frank profile image90
    Rochelle Frankposted 9 years ago

    Does living a hard or troubled life make one a better writer?

    Do people who  have lived a rather easy life have less of an inclination to be writers?

  2. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
    Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years ago

    Good quiestion, Rochelle.

    I think people who have really experienced a lot in life, be it troubled or well-traveled, generally do become better writers.

    I think people who have lived an easy life can be good writers if they are very creative and have a great imagination.

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image90
      Rochelle Frankposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      That's actually a great answer. thanks.

  3. Dreamlin profile image53
    Dreamlinposted 9 years ago

    I think so. Real life experiences are very important to a writer.
    I immigrate to the United States when I was 17 years old. My mother’s two unhappy marriages force me to mature quickly.
    To support my mother, who is a cancer survivor, and has diabetes, heart disease etc., I cast aside my dream of becoming a film maker, go to a community college instead, and major in accounting. That way I can find a job fast. In my free time, I start writing novel, my way of escaping the harsh reality. Inspired by the tale of the Lord of the Rings, I create a Fantasy Adventure of my own “The Promise”.
    A hostile takeover causes me to lose my job of 11 years. As the victim of office politics, I feel helpless and despair. The tough situation cautions me to reevaluate my life, and my future. My passion is writing. I decide to take the biggest risk of my life, and become a full-time novelist. I aim at generating a new trend, not following an existing path. With that idea in mind, I construct and complete my second novel “Hidden Scent”, a mystery suspense novel with a touch of paranormal.
    At the end of year 2011, my ex-stepfather conspires with his employee, local officials, insurance company, bank, influential lawyers and judges, fabricates a real property deal and successfully evicts my mother and me out of our home of 18 years. To my great disappointment, I see criminal judge openly protect unlicensed lawyer. The presiding judge, without considering the evidence, rules in favor of the fake landlord. The government investigating agency does nothing but waiting for the judges to silence the victims. The lawyers, with political ties, lie thru their teeth to cover up the misdeeds of their colleagues. Sadly, my encounter is not an isolated one. It has become a common practice among unethical lawyers and judges thru out the United States. Every day, tens of thousands litigants across the country suffer the same injustice. People complaint, but nothing is done to correct the problem. I detail my incredible journey of the past 2 years in a novel, “The Price of a Lie”.  This unique underdog story exposes dark courtroom secrets legal professionals don’t want the public to know. Apart from a typical victim, the heroine in this tale is witty, brave and resourceful. In a dire situation, she does not give in to despair, instead, uses strategy and knowledge to overcome the obstacles, and eventually reverses her own destiny.

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image90
      Rochelle Frankposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Stresses and difficulties do equal experience, and looking at life through different lenses does stir up thoughts and understanding. You have been through a lot. Things like this, though painful, are certainly an advanced education.

    2. Dreamlin profile image53
      Dreamlinposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      All the hardships I've been thru enable me to view people, situations differently. Those life experiences make my stories (the characters, the emotions and the dialog) more realistic and moving. I firmly believe everything happen for a reason.

    3. alancaster149 profile image75
      alancaster149posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      This reads like the plot for a $bn best-seller. Get yourself an editor and a year from now you'll look back on all that went before with a wry smile - just like J K Rowling.

  4. Electro-Denizen profile image79
    Electro-Denizenposted 9 years ago


    Wish there were another answer to this.

    All great writing is full of important qualities e.g empathy (which in writing terms allows one to create believable characters)  Only one's own suffering, it would seem, opens the doorways of perception, to see that others suffer just like we do.

    So much great writing that shows an understanding of human nature, comes from the writer's own learning curve...

    great question!

  5. profile image0
    AC-DCposted 9 years ago

    I believe so. Going through many trials and tribulations in life not only gives you more material to write about. It also gives one an escape while going through these horrible things. Writing is a great outlet for the things that happen to us in our lives.

  6. WillStarr profile image82
    WillStarrposted 9 years ago

    I suspect it's the other way around...good writers are often driven, and that sometimes results in a tumultuous life.

    1. alancaster149 profile image75
      alancaster149posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Many authors such as Ernest Hemingway lived their lives first, and then wrote about their adventures when they'd settled down or were knackered by their hell-raising lifestyles. .

    2. WillStarr profile image82
      WillStarrposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      My point exactly, Alan. We have to live a little before we can write about life.

  7. rlaha profile image60
    rlahaposted 9 years ago

    Not necessarily. There are writers who had the good life who are well known authors in today's world as well. I guess it would depend on each one's situation.

    1. Omer123 profile image60
      Omer123posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      exactly its so true there are writer having a strong background and they are living a good life but still they are writer ;-)

  8. satomko profile image90
    satomkoposted 9 years ago

    I don't see why it would. In terms of sheer numbers, plenty of people who do or did live hard or trouble lives don't turn out to be writers at all, much less writers of lasting value or influence. Secondarily, the parameters of what makes a "good" or "better" writer are open questions of aesthetics that only tangentially touch the life and lifestyle of the writer. Because the qualities change over time so too must the idea of who is or was a good writer. Similarly, most people living in industrialized countries today live "easier" and "less trouble" lives that virtually everyone in the past. Does that mean all writers from previous eras are better because their lives were more difficult than our own? Of course not because the standards of comparison for a "hard" or "troubled" life require context in the same way as determining whether a writer is "good" or not. Shakespeare didn't produce excellent material because he was less financially secure than you or I. His work endures because of its uncanny insight into human problems and the beauty of his language. Having come through difficult experiences can give a writer personal material to draw from, but it does not follow that same writer will create material of any greater value than another who lived an easier, arguably more boring life.

  9. M. T. Dremer profile image83
    M. T. Dremerposted 9 years ago

    Yes and no. Someone who has lived a harsh life has more experience to draw from. They say to write what you know, and if you know a lot, you can write a riveting story. However, there can also be an opposite effect, where someone who hasn't lived a hard life, develops an active imagination to overcompensate for their somewhat mundane surroundings. These are the people who go into world-building genre fiction that can spawn a legion of geek fans.

    Obviously there is no exact formula, but someone who hasn't lived a harsh life, shouldn't feel bad that their writing will suffer because of it. I often used to think that way, until I realized that the life I led is what brought me to writing. So I shouldn't complain.

  10. alancaster149 profile image75
    alancaster149posted 9 years ago

    It certainly qualifies you to write Blues or C&W lyrics!
    A lot of 'Best sellers' are flukes, even if they have come through struggles.
    Joanne Katherine Rowling's manuscript was languishing in the basement of a publisher (Writers' & Artists' Yearbook recommends contacting agents first) when an agent chanced on it whilst waiting to see one of the bosses. Now she's richer than the Queen on the back of her Harry Potter books.
    I'm not griping, although I think on the Beach Boys' 'Wouldn't it be nice'. She's earned her plaudits, trying to raise two small children on a low income or benefits. Many celebrities have their 'coffee table fillers' published because publishers like a 'racing certainty' to balance up the books.
    And then there are the author celebrities, the prize winners. Guaranteed publication despite the yawns they induce, just on the back of an original prize. A licence to write dross. Meanwhile the rest of us struggle....  .

  11. Mubashar4 profile image59
    Mubashar4posted 9 years ago

    Better writer means clear thoughts, logical progression, great ideas. A troubled life may not learn these lessons, but a good braid can even if during troubled.

    1. Mubashar4 profile image59
      Mubashar4posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry for the Braid..It's "BRAIN"

    2. Omer123 profile image60
      Omer123posted 9 years agoin reply to this


  12. Laura Schneider profile image83
    Laura Schneiderposted 9 years ago

    I would say that having a harder life makes for a better writer—they empathize with their characters/subject better as well as their audience. Look how many famous writers of fiction throughout history have been sickly and couldn't do more strenuous jobs than sitting and writing. Writing is the perfect profession for those who are too sick to work other jobs that would pay more. Often writers have mental health issues, including addictions and depression. This is also true for scientists.

  13. dohn121 profile image80
    dohn121posted 9 years ago

    Not only can living a troubled life make one a better writer but a better person as well.  There are examples of this throughout history--both in recent and past history.  One example of this was conveyed in the 2009 movie,"The Blind Side" starring Sandra Bullock.  Based on a true story, the movie tells of a troubled youth, Michael Oher who escapes poverty to become one of the NFL's top left tackles.  Overall, there are countless other cinderella stories pertaining to troubled but talented youths that have defeated the odds, and not only in sports mind you.

    However, pertaining to writing, Stephen King is a good example of a writer who lived a troubled life before finally publishing "Carrie," his first breakthrough hit.  In his 2000 publication,"On Writing" in which one-half is autobiographical and the other half is instructional in the craft of writing.  King retells the time when as a child, his babysitter locks him inside of a closet after having fed him scrambled eggs during a hot summer day.  The partly-digested scrambled eggs soon make their way back out through his mouth. 

    In another instance, he tells of about his tenure whilst working in commercial laundromat where one of their clients was a Maine seafood restaurant frequented by mostly tourist.  King's job was to work a huge laundry machine nicknamed "The Mangler" (this would later become a stand-alone short story).  King describes how upon feeding the Mangler with armloads of week-old tablecloths and when feeling the intense heat from the Mangler, dozens of ripe maggots would proceed to then crawl up King's arms and face.

    No wonder this man writes what he writes.

    So overall, my answer to your question Rochelle, is yes ONLY if the writer is in question uses his experiences in a constructive manner.  Stephen King is definitely a notable example.

  14. nanderson500 profile image79
    nanderson500posted 9 years ago

    That's an interesting question. It definitely seems like many famous writers have had troubled lives. I think writers are great at taking the negative aspects of their lives and using them as material for their writings. If it gives them something to write about, then I think it does make them better writers.

  15. Manikandan001 profile image60
    Manikandan001posted 9 years ago

    Its depends on the present mind and some thoughts. When we live in a good life, we may (a writer) gets some tendency to write a good story or an tragedy story, or living in some trouble life it may tends to tragedy story from the real aspects, or living in a happy moment and seen some trouble moments of others, may bring in to some tragedy stories. A writers mind is depends on the circumstances. We can see so many films, some of them are comedy and others tragedy, but every aspects which makes and attention to viewers heart and mind. Or if a writer thinks to write a story, and trying but may or may not start. But sometimes the writer is sitting as normal and not thinking to write, suddenly may can write on a specific theme. Depends on mind and heart.

  16. Omer123 profile image60
    Omer123posted 9 years ago

    may be yes may be no , its actually depend upon the way some one treat it like if you are living in a very wired situation may be you can have negative impact of life for others and may be you will developed a positive impact of life so its actually depend upon the way you think and some how writers are usually by birth may be 40 percent but they are actually ;-) . lets consider an example that some one is living in Africa with a very very wired life so he or she will have a negative or may be his her stories will include the hunger cloth and shelter and if some one is facing some trouble in north America his her way of thinking will be different ,but it all was about the way of thinking in short writers and by birth with the environment impact may be litter bit ;-)

  17. Tamirogers profile image61
    Tamirogersposted 9 years ago

    Interesting question. I was raised in an environment where it was assumed I'd have a pretty easy life. Upper-middle class , not much drama, college educated, married the right guy, etc.. But that's not the way it played out. I've known a lot of hardship and I think more than making me a better writer, it has made me a stronger, more compassionate person. That, in turn, I think has made me a  better writer.

  18. manatita44 profile image71
    manatita44posted 9 years ago

    This is a difficult one. Someone just said this to Billybuc and her life in a way, mirrored some of his earlier struggles, and he is an excellent writer. Sara Sarwar Riaz is also an excellent writer as well as Doris Dancy and a few more who do not speak of adversity in the same sense while growing up or in earlier life.

    Growth of the Soul enhances wisdom and understanding, and some really do grow in the fires of darkness. Some don't appear to. There is no hard and fast rule. I was reading and writing since I was four years old. I also practiced many essays, simply by giving myself vague themes and talking or writing about them.

    I told stories as a child. Now that's a good one. Truly we remember the ideas of those who came before us, either in the flesh or have the ideas carried through the ether, and finally by God Itself, through intuition and direct Grace.

    Amidst all this, most of us practice, practice, practice ...and read, read, read .... so some arduous work or labour is necessary, while a tiny few seem to be blessed by the Divine. Hope this helps.

  19. Chriswillman90 profile image89
    Chriswillman90posted 9 years ago

    I think living a troubled life gives you a completely different perspective on life itself, which ultimately lends you to become a more well rounded writer.

    This doesn't mean you'll necessarily be a better writer, but you'll have more depth because you've seen it all. People are fascinated by others who've been through the ringer and experienced hardships.

    I know I'd much rather read about someone who grew up poor or homeless and became a success rather than read about someone who was born into a rich family with no worries or difficulties. As the audience, It's just far more compelling to read about.

    I'm not implying if you haven't had it hard that you aren't as interesting because we're all all unique and have our own experiences. Plus people have their own preferences and some might prefer reading work from someone who grew up privileged.

  20. janardini profile image60
    janardiniposted 9 years ago

    Troubled life have an experience so they are the pure writers

  21. profile image51
    Eddy Vonposted 9 years ago

    No, if you are a good writer it comes from your brain, it is a gift!  living or experiencing a troubled life may allow for greater empathy... we ALL have life experiences.. But experiencing a difficult life does give one a differing way of telling/relating a story!
    write a book and experiment! (yet if you do not have connections- it will be more challenging to get it to a publisher)

  22. Jeffery Van Stee profile image61
    Jeffery Van Steeposted 9 years ago

    Whether it makes you a better writer, only you can answer that  question. It certainly gives you more experiences to draw upon for your writing. Explore them.

  23. Easy Exercise profile image84
    Easy Exerciseposted 9 years ago

    Oh, to have an easy life, alas not to be me! What makes us stronger is the trauma but what makes us feel emotion is also the trauma. A hard life may mean different things to different people. A successful person may be lonely, a loved person may be in poverty.
    God will not allow/permit us to have more than we can bear. We must travel different pathways and remain open to God's love.
    Writing is all about connecting and those whose lives appear easy may not be so the viewpoint is only available from introspection.
    In short, the answer is grey. I have friends who have been blessed and they live an "easy life" but they are wise beyond their years. How did they acquire that wisdom? Through friends, through family, through their intellect.
    Creative people are said to feel more deeply, perhaps it is their intelligence that allows them to see things more clearly and feel more deeply.
    Fun question - thank you!

  24. Steven Gomez profile image77
    Steven Gomezposted 9 years ago

    Both a tough life and an easy life (by whatever definition you choose) have their respective challenges. A hard life gives you a lot of experiences that provide material, but you may not have nearly as much time or energy to write. An easy life may give you that space, but you also may not have a lot of excitement in your life that you can draw unique material from.

    Basically, focus more on living an engaging life that gives you new experiences, while giving you the space to rest and relax so there's space to write about it later.

  25. Samuel Barrett profile image73
    Samuel Barrettposted 9 years ago

    Not necessarily, but it certainly humanizes them. Plus I think subjectivity has a lot to do with what one perceives as "good" writing.

  26. Romanian profile image71
    Romanianposted 9 years ago

    Sometimes having an easy life means no time to write, but this hapening mostly in our times. A few centuries ago, there were a lot of people from noble families who writed a lot of good books.

    But now in our times, when there are a lot of things to do when you have money, I don't think much of wealthy people prefer to write.

    Also, if you have a troubled life, you might find more subjects to write. If you felt the misery, you sure can write better about it.

    In my country there are alot of jokes now with corrupt politicians, which after geting to jail, to be release much early, have to write some books. Some of them even don't like to read books, but now are forced to write books to reduce their detencion. Nobody can say that they are good writers.

  27. Rosualdo Ponce profile image77
    Rosualdo Ponceposted 9 years ago

    I think potentials in writing is a gift, but skills is gained. A famous saying, experience is the best teacher, also, constant practice makes perfect. Experience will fuel motivation and practice will achieve its target. Hard and troubled life doesn't mean a failure life but it give time and capability to move forward or to rise above beyond the situation.

  28. Boots Iacono profile image72
    Boots Iaconoposted 9 years ago

    In a way, one who has had trouble or hardship in their life knows better about facing adversity... think about it, there has not been one book sold that became a bestseller that did not contain some sort of conflict or obstacle contained within.  A Tale of Two Cities starts out with a conflict... "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

  29. Ben716 profile image91
    Ben716posted 9 years ago

    It's not a determining the kind of life you have gone through. Writing better stems from what you've passed through as a writer. The rejection letters you received, feedback on your writing, learning the weaknesses you exhibit in writing, enrolling in a writing course, writing and keep on writing, reading other people's writing and reading articles on writing are some of ways that can make one to be a better write. In fact among the 15 wealthiest authors in the world, there are some who didn't live a troubled or hard life and they are still good in their writing.

    However, I think the best important determining factor is to keep on writing and writing. It's a sure way because along the way you will have learned a lot and improved in your writing.

  30. profile image51
    KevinDoyle123posted 9 years ago

    I think it depends few people are creative and few people perceptive .
    The creative person would create a fantasy world with emotion or life sequences he/she has never experienced before but the Perceptive person would be more inclined to  create contents which he/she has naturally experienced.So i think troubled life is not a necessity to become a better writer


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