Moods, oh boy how I wish they didn’t dictate how I write. In the same way I wish what I wrote didn’t dictate how I felt. As a writer we are constantly guilty of being in whatever mood our characters are in. We are controlled by the story just as much as we control them.
As a writer you know what I’m talking about, you have a gift. You can weave a story, or at least capture the essence of an idea in a few simple sentences. It doesn’t matter that you might appear to be a little distracted sometimes or that you just, you know, hope your friend will arrive late so you can finish your chapter. Writing has its hold on you.
Have you ever fantasized about writing? Or have you just fantasized more than you think is normal? If you have a tendency to drift off to fantasy land you may be a writer. One of the traits of a great story teller is the ability to fantasize vividly. Many writers can do this at will and some can do it while keeping up with a conversation.
The trick is that writers think differently from others. While those around us are getting cheap thrills and are completely surprised by thriller movies, the natural writer is 10 scenes ahead in figuring out who the killer is or how the mystery is solved.
None of us are ever in it for the glory. I’ve considered the prospect that of committed myself to writing full time, I’d live in poverty and yet, I’d still want to write? In fact, during the three months I was unemployed I wrote the very first draft of Being Brave Again. So trust me, if the writing is more appealing to you than living poorly is unappealing, you have the bug.
When writers first start out, they write anywhere and everywhere. As children, we write on walls, then in journals, books and notebooks. Later, we find ourselves scribbling ideas on cocktail napkins and the backs of envelopes when nothing else is handy. Trust me, I have a suit case filled with old journals and a box filled with scribbles.
A natural born writer cannot help themselves. If they are not writing, they are thinking about writing. If they work 16 hours a day, they sleep six, write for one, and are driving back and forth the rest of the time.
Let’s just be honest, you probably have more books than you have friends, by a large margin. You’re a little concerned that one day, you might become a hoarder. This is because we are controlled by the worlds that we create. I’ve burnt dinner writing. I’ve forgotten laundry writing. I’ve driven home from work mindlessly going through the motions because I’m thinking up dialogue.
For writers, it’s not a hobby. Writing is life. We don’t sing in the shower we act out scenes. We don’t mind our own business we listen in out others conversations because its research. We see relations in terms of beginnings, middles, and ends. We talk to ourselves. We think our characters are real and if we could, we’d much rather sit down at the dinner table with them, but would secretly fear for our lives because of all the pain we put them through.
Writing is a sacred calling that just pulls at your soul. Writers just know! It is the air that we breathe and it’s what makes our hearts continue beating. Our soul is filled with words that have no meaning until we sit down and pour them out of us and into this world where they materialize into so much more. Into someone’s favorite book. Someone’s entire Saturday. Someone’s train ride. Or maybe we don’t share it, we just keep it for ourselves. And there nothing wrong with that either.
This is what writing is to the writer. The writing profession is unlike any other because it is not a profession to us. It is a way of life. We are drawn to it, sometimes despite our best efforts to pull away.