I recently asked some folks why they write. Are you curious? Maybe some of you feel exactly the same as it was about a 50/50 split. Half agreed that they write because they absolutely have to. What does that mean? Waking in the morning would be unbearable if there weren’t a chance to sit down at whatever writing device one uses, and tell lies. That's right. For the most part, we’re making up stories about other people and putting it down as their story. So maybe it’s half gossip/half lies. We can murder anyone we please, or have them kidnapped, stranded, run over by a car. Any number of scenarios. We can even take a historical figure and turn them into vampires or the living dead.
There is NO limit to what our imaginations can produce.
And then there is the writer who hears voices in his or her head, and she must find a way to get them out of there. The first option is a very expensive help call psychology. No, not an option, our issues already have a release…writing. The writer releases the voices and the characters who accompany them to the world and allows their personalities to dictate what will appear on paper. The author doesn’t know if he is coming or going, because even with a well-written outline, characters often decide to become someone else, take their journeys on different paths.
Voices in the head? Help!Characters so alive they change their own personalities? Hmmm…write or spend $400/hr on a couch scaring the psychologist. We all joke about how writing is our therapy, and I think for many it is. We put our fears, dreams, hopes, love, hate, so many emotions into our stories. And we are, in fact, getting the voices out.
BTW, this is never something to tell a “non-writer” because they don’t get it. Nor do they want to. They will walk around us if we try to explain this on an intellectual basis. Discussing how to murder a dogcatcher, for instance, will send all the city employees running. And anyone else within hearing distance. So less is more when dealing with normal people.
But for the rest of us? We have to write. Whether it’s to tell a story, or give the voices life. We have to write. We don’t decide one day to live a life of, if not poverty, then pretty close. And yet, we have to do it. We have to spend every spare moment of our lives telling someone else’s story.
We don’t usually choose the profession; it chooses us.