Questioning Freedom

Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is freedom.

It's a word we toss around a lot, especially in the US, since our country was founded on it. (Even my faith was founded in it.)  Countries have fought for it. People have died for it. Suffered for it. Searched for it. And when those without obtain it, it changes everything.

Undeniably, freedom is a big deal. It affects everything. 

My character is on this search for freedom. She had a glimpse of it and then she fought for it--and is in the midst of it. It's not for herself; it's for everyone else.  The thing I'm wondering is....after 63,000 words and the end still far away...what does freedom look like?

Obviously, it's this instant change. This feeling. This, in some cases, actuality is life-changing. It affects everything: the way you think, feel, look, operate, your motives, actions. The thing I am finding now--which may very well be because I'm over-thinking, wondering, examining--is how that affects Neely. 

I think I should have experience in freedom, that I should know what it feels like. I don't, though. Not entirely. I carry around so many of things that I should be free from. So then, how do I get my character to translate that feeling on the page?

Short answer: I have no idea. 

Longer answer: I imagine it's me. I imagine her freedom as the feeling I'd experience and then make it happen on the page. Because surely, my view of freedom is a little accurate. At least I hope. 

I really like that image up there. I love the green in contrast to the blue, blue sky. To me, that is freedom. I hope to pull in an image like that to help me understand what she is feeling when  she experiences freedom.

And, since this is called "Questioning Freedom"......What is freedom to you?


  1. Hi Danielle :)
    What an interesting post.
    Freedom to me is the ability to read what I want, see what I wish, say what I feel, without being tortured, banned, threatened, jailed, executed. Freedom is elusive.
    No one is 100 percent free.
    And fear of the government coming down on you for reading something, saying something, thinking something, seeing something is especially pervasive now.
    All the best,

  2. What a thought provoking post. To me, freedom is the ability to make a choice for yourself. To be able to evaluate the options and pick one without someone else censoring your possible choices. Think of all the ways we exercise freedom everyday (what we eat, read, watch, etc). As someone who has never lived in a country where i wasn't free, its hard to relate to the feeling someone would have if they were fighting for their freedom. What I remember about freedom ( or gaining it) was my first college experience. I moved away to college and suddenly all my decisions were up to me. Freedom. I was giddy with delight, excited and terrified all at the same time.

    Good luck with your character's quest for freedom.

  3. Freedom to me is running without sandals in the grass at nine AM in the summer, when the air is still cold. It is lying in the sand at the beach, completely at peace, detached, and immersed in bountiful buckets of thought-provoking solitude. It is a walk in the woods. A moonlight swim. It is swinging on a swing set and then, sometimes, jumping off, flying through the air. It is ability to dare, to dream, to imagine, and to accomplish these seemingly unrealistic impossibilities. It is doing whatever you wish, whether that is writing or engineering. Freedom is a zillion and more different flavors, all original shades and tastes for everyone on this planet. Exhilarating. Bittersweet. Frightening, even. Maybe a combination. But freedom is there and we must seize it.


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