Writing Myself


ROIer Inbar Amir is the academic manager of the Ein Prat Academy and a screenwriter. In the past year she has been working on a collection of stories dealing with Israeli Youth.

I applied for a "Go Professional" Micro Grant to attend an advanced writing course. I have been writing screenplays for television and theater for the past three years. I am used to people telling me what they want me to write about. I write their passions and ideals, which don't always match mine. The big difference is that this time I am writing my story.

I knew that I needed a framework that would make me sit and write, because writing for others in many ways is much easier. Thanks to this opportunity, every two weeks I had to sit with ten other people and share my work. I had deadlines that made me think for the first time in many years not what words I want to use for someone else's story, but what is my story. Writing is not a pleasure for me. I don't really enjoy it, it's more like I have to. Jonathan Safran-Foer once said that in his experience, writing is like pulling teeth out of his...and you can finish this sentence alone. I can relate to that. Without a strong framework I would not do it, because it is so difficult.

So, if writing is so difficult, why am I still doing it ? Every time I finish writing I feel I am in the right place for me in this world. I feel these characters and scenes help me shout out everything I will never dare say as myself. I don't identify myself as a political person—I usually don't express strong opinions regarding the Israeli reality; I will never post something political on Facebook—I am always afraid I will offend someone or say something that will turn out to be not accurate. When my invented characters say things—they are allowed to say anything they want. This way I am protected to say everything I feel that needs to be said, and I found out that maybe I am, in my way, a political person.

At the end of six months of work I have managed to finish a collection of three stories that would have never been brought into the world otherwise. The stories deal with growing up in Israel, dealing with many issues—the fear of death, sexuality, the education system and parent-child relationships. Finding my personal story in every character and scene I wrote was a sensation of discovery for me. I feel very grateful to ROI for this unique opportunity.