As always…some good music while you read.
I could ask you now: Are you a writer? And if you read my posts, you most probably are. But then there’d be nothing much to tell you. So I’ll ask something else. Do you know a writer?
Some of you will nod now, others might skim mentally through all their friends then decide no. Whatever. For those of you who ever came into contact with a writer, I’d like to sort a few things with this post.
First off: We’re not weird. Okay, some might be. Me? – Hell yes! But not all of us are. And I can explain exactly why you think we are, and why, in fact, we aren’t.
So, the most used descriptions of a non-author for an author are: Hangs out in her writer office ¾ of the day. Rather chats with strangers online than meeting her real friends in the pub down the street. Speaks about her characters in her book as if they were real people. Gets up in the dead of the night, just to jot down a few lines that make no sense to anyone. Would rather bring her laptop on a vacation than her family.
Okay, let’s tick them off one by one.
Why do we spend so much time in our office? Duh, because we write. That wasn’t hard to guess. But why can’t we write for about a couple hours every day like others do with their hobbies, then stop and do something else? The simple answer is, because you’re not an author for a couple hours a day. You’re a writer for a lifetime. No stop. No break. No mercy. If you’re devoted to creating entire new worlds, it takes time. Sometimes you’d sit a whole day and don’t get anything done other than maybe bleach the white of the page in front of you with your stares to a whole new level of shiny. Hell, I’ve been know to sitting in front of my WIP and not get a single line written in weeks. But still, even if a writer doesn’t type anything, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t work on it. You’d never guess how busy the mind of an author can be. The Interstate-90 is a walk in the park compared to that.
Why do we chat to strangers so much? Well, because they aren’t strangers to us. We’re all in the same boat. We strive to build the most wonderful world we can, and then bring it down to the page in a way that allows every person who grabs a copy of our book to fully dive in. To feel the same emotions we felt when we wrote it. To step into the story as if it’s happening just inside their front room. But this is only possible, if you have a few friends who read your stuff every now and then and point out what’s missing to build this particular bridge. We lovingly call these friends of ours ‘critique partners’ 😉
Why do we act as if the people in our books are real? Easy: For a writer, they are real. As real as your children, or your husband, your boyfriend, or your grandfather. For us, they live. And we speak of them so often and in this strange manner, because we love them. We created them from scratch, and in our vision they are perfect with every little flaw or trait. How could we not fall in love with them? And now think of yourself. If you’re in love with someone, don’t you want to tell the entire world about this person?
Why do we get up in the middle of the night? Or in my case, why do I have a notepad on my nightstand with a pen and a flashlight? Because, frankly, the best ideas hit us in the dark. Most of the time they come, check if we’re still awake, and when they see that we’re just about to drift off, they present themselves to us. At that point, you have no chance to ever remember it in the morning. That’s a fact, believe me. I don’t know how many awesome ideas have gone lost on me, just because I convinced myself in bed I’d be able to remember later. I never did. So I brought this little writing equipment to my bedroom, and whenever an idea thinks it can fool me, dance before me then just disappear, I have an ace up my sleeve. I can take notes, and everything is good the following day.
And here’s the answer to your most burning question. Why do writers not marry their laptops instead of men or women if they spend more time with the damn device anyway? Church doesn’t approve of it. That’s why. And on that note…happy writing!