We writers aren’t so unique, you know. It’s not the Writer who is especially unique—though we often in our self-indulgent brilliance think it is so—it is our personalities and tics and weirdnesses that are unique. Some of us are just a wee bit more cray or intense or discombobulated than others and if we happen to be writers, well then now—stir it all together and it’s a pot of deliciously toxic soup! But for the sake of this post, I’m thinking about writing and writers and the inner worlds we must thrash around in while all manner of chaos stomps round in our heads.
We writers do think we see the world unlike mere mortals. Yeah. We do. Of course we do. We walk about with our heads in the clouds, or huddle inside our little spaces with far away dreamy dreamland eyes that rarely blink. I once didn’t blink for a week—no! Really! When one of my eyeballs fell out, I thought, “Dang! I better blink.” So I popped that eyeball back in and it was most unpleasant. Believe you me, after that, I made sure I blinked every once and a while. Staring off into the great space of our inner-mind isn’t so bad when we are alone, but when we are with people it can be a little unnerving and annoying—for us and for the other person. Suddenly, someone is staring at you expectantly while waiting for you to respond. Dang. We can both resent the intrusion and be apologetically alarmed by the assessment of other humans who feel left out of our little world.
Though life and circumstance has lately challenged my reclusive-living life, I’m very much the reclusive kind of writer. Actually, there’s only rumor that I really do exist at all. No! Really! There’s no one who can really prove I’m not a fabrication of everyone’s imagination—okay, there are some who have seen me, waiflike and ethereal, meandering in an otherworldly way. I’m so incredibly cute—um, in a weirdly dangerous to myself way (having your head in the clouds while out in the predator-filled woods or while driving—not so good; haw!)—but I promise I am absolutely not dangerous to others—Hahahaha! No sirree. I don’t even see others most of the time. Oh. Well. Yeah. Er.
We often think of really strange things because our characters are doing all this cool stuff and we want to do it too. We want to have all that excitement, and mysterious happenings, and all that good hot sex. Woooowheee. We have fallen in love with our characters; we have wanted to be friends with our characters—have coffee with them or go on adventures with them; we’ve wanted to slap characters ten ways to Mars and then go up to Mars and kick their asses back to Earth so we can send them back to Mars.
Sometimes I think of chunking this writing life—well, I have actually done that, for six long years other than some fits and starts and longings. You don’t believe me? Well, buh-leeve me it is true; if you look at the date on my last published book it will tell the tale.
Sometimes I think I don’t want to do this anymore—that is the scariest thought of all my weirdling thoughts, my friends. It’s such a strange business. One that sometimes is unforgiving, and lonely. And as for money? Good lawd! What kind of job is it where you never know what your salary will be? Where you can work for weeks, months, maybe even years, and never know if you will be paid a tiny little penny? *panting anxiety breaths* It is a profession of love and angst and faith and hope and stupidity.
But then, if we didn’t do this writing thang, who would we be? What would our world be like? How would we think of all kinds of cool things we’d love to do, even if we really can’t do them so we have our characters do them? Even if I can’t sex it up with a lightning bolt or a sexy man who charms lightning, my Laura character can, and I can live vicariously through her and Ayron. I can be Melissa running through the woods with Sweetie—I can be Sweetie and feel no pain on the outside while feeling everything on the inside. I can ride beside Virginia Kate on Fionadala up up the mountain. And it’s fun. And exciting. While I’m writing it, I am living it, y’allses! I am! And perhaps that’s how it is with you too. You enter a world of your construct and it takes over your life, and the outside “real” world becomes the dreamy dreamland.
When we’re not writing, we’re thinking about writing. And working. And taking care of our house and our dog/crow/wolf/cat/gerbil/spider/snake/whatever-you-love. And paying bills. And thinking about writing. And going to the store. And thinking about writing. And sleeping. And dreaming about writing. And when we are not writing and thinking about writing, on the seventh day, we wish we could rest. I rarely rest. At all! My brain is on electro-dynamic-zippity-do-dah-day seven days a week, even when I’m sleeping—you don’t want a peek inside my weirdo brain, or my dreams. Or no, wait, perhaps you, the writer, does, just as I’d love to meander around in your brain and your dreams—how cool that would be! But since I can’t do it physically, I can imagine I am doing it, and that’s where writing makes life so much better and more fun and exciting and intoxicating.
Now, you might be nodding your head, or you just might be going, “This woman is jittery and skittery! Good lawd!” And if you are not a writer, you just might be going, “This woman is jittery and skittery! Good Lawd!”
All this said, we have to find space for the Real World. If we don’t, we forget how to live in polite society—and isn’t it funny that I first accidentally wrote, “we forget how to lie in polite society …”—I’m sure there’s some Freudian slippage there to consider. But I like who I am. I like my weirdling brain activity. I like that sometimes the Real World is the dreamy world and my novel is alive and so apparent and takes over my body and mind and world.
What about you? Do you love entering your book’s dreamy dreamland and staying a while? Do you find your writing life intoxicating? Will you lend me a million dollars? haha!