Friday, June 24, 2011

The fine line between madness and brilliance

I think all writers are quite mad. We almost have to be to do what we do. Dozens, if not hundreds of characters live in our heads, all yelling at the tops of their lungs about their story that needs to be told immediately (at the most inopportune times, such as when the writer is trying to sleep or is taking a shower or driving - never when actually sitting down to write, it seems), and whole worlds are crammed in there as well. Dialog and character quirks and bizarre occurrences that make for amazing plot twists...it's all in there, clanging around like loose change in a dryer.

I've noticed in my day to day life that due to all of this brain clutter, I sometimes have trouble focusing on what is really happening. I was so lost in my own world the other day that when a co-worker interrupted me, I ended up responding to him like one of my characters that I happened to be thinking about.

Does this happen to other people??

Maybe I'm crazy for it, but I almost feel sorry for people if it doesn't. A mundane drive to work can become a dangerous flight through space, or a car chase, or the perfect place for a conversation with one of my characters. I sometimes feel like a foolish child for it, but I walk through life always expecting something magical to happen. I just know that one of these days I'm going to walk around the right corner and run into Doctor Who or Harry Potter or Gandalf. Kids are supposed to grow out of that. Most of them do.

But if that's what it means to grow up, I'll stay a kid forever, thanks.

And maybe my writing isn't brilliant. Maybe I'm just insane for hearing voices in my head and talking to myself incessantly and occasionally acting out a scene to nail down the particulars. But I have a hell of a lot of fun doing it. I just hope that I can capture all of the amazing adventures that go on in my head and that people will have as much fun reading them.

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