Friday, July 13, 2012

Musings on Independence Vs. Losing Control (Stephanie Kuehnert)

I kind of feel like I'm slacking by doing what I'm about to do, but A. Today is my birthday (though I feel weird drawing attention to it. Bad things happen when you do that, like waitresses interrupt your nice, quiet dinner and sing and everyone is embarrassed.) and B. I can't imagine coming up with something better to say about independence/freedom than I already have. You see, it is also theme at Rookie, the online magazine that I write for, and just this Monday, they posted a piece of mine about the fine line between freedom and losing control.

I worked hard to win my independence early as a teenager. I graduated a semester before the rest of my class and while they were still in school, I moved to another state and started to lead a grown-up life with an apartment and a roommate and a job... and eventually a boyfriend 6 years my senior who got me into nightclubs I was still 4 years too young to party at. But I did. I partied and it was awesome and thrilling and independent and free... and then it got out of control. However, seriously rather than me rehashing it here, just check out the Rookie story, which has been properly edited and revised and thought-out. Hell, check out Rookie in general because it is my baby/main writing project right now and if you like my fiction/blogs, you will probably love it.

I will also say that gaining my independence early and subsequently losing control before I figured out how to actually handle my independence was such a formative experience that I definitely bring it to my fiction. Hell, it's kind of what my first book I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE was all about. My main character, Emily, is a teenage rock star who uses her music to break free, but then chaos ensues. In BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, Kara (who is a lot like me in real life) tried really hard to be a good, studious girl for many years, but then things sort of bubbled up inside of her, she rebelled, and life spiraled out of control. I write those stories because those are the stories that really speak to and interest me. Even now I still struggle to manage my own independence. Working as a writer means being your own boss. Yeah, you have deadlines, but you need a lot of self-discipline to met them. So independence vs. control is a theme I ponder a lot and since books are my favorite sources of exploring the issues that are important in my life, I seek stories out with these themes. I'm always looking for more, so tell me, what are some of your favorites about independence and control issues? Hopefully I'll get some birthday money to buy them with :)


  1. So true what you say about the writing life, Steph...With freedom comes great responsibility, eh?