Okay, so we’re writers, a lot of us – We get up every day and live in our heads, we miss half the conversations around us because we drifted back into our current plot, we take on low paying jobs and accept an outwardly mundane existence because we won’t notice anyway and it allows us to daydream.
Does that sound familiar?
When I was a child before personal computers came along, the best gift anyone could give me was blank paper. I would get hugely exciting by a big fat notebook and a pen. People thought I was strange but, hey, I was easy to please.
When PCs did come along, how I drooled! In the 1980s when Greg got his first computer, he left it with me to work out how to use it for myself and at the end of the day found I had my manuscript already planted on it.
I try to have a pen and notepad with me at all times, but that doesn’t always work out, so those perfect words forming in my head so inconveniently get repeated over and over in a bid to hang onto them. I use a mental blackboard and write the words down, reinforcing each letter with different color mental chalk. That works for me quite well. White, yellow, blue, pink.
That means, of course, I don’t see the traffic on the road when I’m crossing the street, or I hook up with someone in front of me and tag along, thinking it’s Greg when it’s not. I get lost in town because I turned a corner and I don’t know which way I turned the corner. Greg’s used to finding that I’ve gone missing when we’re out in town and is now in the habit of stopping and checking on me regularly – I tend to lag behind.
Mostly, though, I am a recluse. Crowds make me nervous. I like people, but not too close. I will meet people but not invite them home. That’s probably more from past experiences than being a writer, but I do value my space and the most important thing to me is my time. I don’t like going out. I don’t like shopping and I don’t like social gatherings. I’ll be the person sitting in the corner trying to be invisible and usually mistaken for someone else. I like my clothes in nature’s colors, a lot of it brown, which Greg calls camouflage, and I think he’s right.
Occasionally I’ll get bold, but mostly I am quiet, although I can talk the ear off anyone I trust, particularly if I’m talking about writing or characters. That’s where I live. That’s where I come alive.
Other than that, people don’t know me. I’m the stranger in town. At the local post office, which I visit maybe three times a year, the joke is that I pop up just to prove I am still alive.
Where do we – as writers – get the amazingly strong urge to write from? Why is it so important for us to tell our stories and make them come to life, knowing that it rarely pays and that the emotional investment is so high? Where does our creativity come from? Why is any of it the way it is, and why is that most writers will fight tooth and claw to stay with what they want to do, rather than “get sensible” and study a career that brings financial reward?
Why, above all else, is a writer always a writer? Some bug bites us and we’re never the same again.
I don’t know. I can’t answer any of those things. I just know that I am passionate to share my inner worlds with everybody who is interested, that I feel most alive when my writing is going well and I feel even better when people enjoy reading it.
That pretty well sums up me as a writer. The reclusive sort.
Have I missed anything?
Cheers everyone! 🙂
I think I knew you were a writer well before I knew you were a writer.
It all began the day you created a certain monster, in a place that no longer exists (RIP Cuddles).
And no matter what you say, I still consider you a dear friend.
Hi Beth – Ah, those were happy days. I thought your realization might have come when I concocted lovely Lady of the Night, Sarah Longinthedrawers. 😀
What do you mean, “No matter what you say”? Sounds like you think I might argue the point. I very much consider you a friend – someone who, if I ever make it to America, would undoubtedly take me in hand and teach me the value of owning more than two pairs of shoes, and probably lift my fashion sense as well. Seriously? You’ve been great from the start and I love it when you turn up.
If you ever make it to America, I shall dress you in leopard print and buy you six inch heels!
OMG! 😀 Now, you’re scaring me. LOL.
I can see me wobbling down the street – Hey, do I get a bustle?
No no no, bustles are out.
But you can have a bustier.
Shows off yer oranges.
On behalf of non-authors everywhere, thanks for the insight. Fascinating.
Thank you, that’s kind of you to say so (I don’t know how it can be fascinating, but thank you all the same). 😀
I can’t think of anything that you’ve missed. My mom read to us every night growing up, and my dad used to bring home stacks of blank paper, knowing that my brother and I would jump all over it. We wrote stories all the time. As for all the “why’s,” I have no idea. Drawing, acting, dance, I can’t picture any other creative pursuit having the same kick for me the writing does. I love words.
Me too. It’s a mystery. Musicians, artists and writers – I don’t know of any other profession that generates such passion that people will give up careers for, go hungry for, and die with no regrets, even if they never make it. It’s amazing.