As writers, we are crazy.
What? You say, not me. Oh yes you are.
I see your face, brows lowering, eyes narrowing and your mouth opening in preparation to argue with me.
Think about it, we create our own worlds. Mine tend to be dark. I have a friend who makes a much lighter, amusing world. Still…they are our own creation. We “create our own reality”. Usually this may get you sent to see a psychologist.
Still don’t agree?
The next thing we do is create characters, we give them personalities, likes, dislikes, we know what they look like and how they will act. Then we give them a voice—this is where we step off to the deep end. We let them talk to us.
Now, don’t tell me you don’t listen. For me, this is when they tell me their names, and how they will respond to any situation I put them in. Sometimes I talk back.
I know you talk back, we all do! How many times have you been stuck in the scene, and in a fit of frustration do another task, such as the dishes. There, as we do a mundane physical task, we talk to ourselves. We mutter, and murmur and before you know it a conversation unfolds. It was this sort of self talk that revealed to me that my main character was a real jerk (but that’s another story).
How about when you write the scenes with your characters? Ever had angst about what you were putting them through? You didn’t want to push them to the limit, did you? Ok, well there are those of us who enjoy doing that. Writers become attached to the characters we create, and when they suffer, we suffer.
Truthfully by now, you no longer need a psychologist, but a psychiatrist for medication. I mean really, we are hearing voices and seeing people who don’t exist...except for us.
Before you start picking up the phone and contacting your nearest psych doc, don’t. Our therapy is the written page. We get it all out in the story, because once it’s on paper than its ok. We are sharing it, showing our story.
Do you think Writers are crazy?
Note: I’d like to thank Vonda Frampton, member of the El Paso Writer’s Association for inspiration on this blog. I recently read her article, about “stirring the pot of craziness”, and her take on how we as writers like to dredge up those dark and varied emotions in our writing is delightfully witty.