Writing sometimes isn’t the most important thing
Writers write. Everyone knows that. But why do they do that? Is it to keep readers happy? Well, if the writer’s lucky enough to attract some readers then yes, definitely that, but not all writers write merely for that purpose.
When I write
I can only speak for myself in this respect… When I write, I immerse myself entirely in the story. I dive in there. I live and see it. I walk along with the characters who run around and yell at each other, and I try to capture everything that’s important for the story in writing.
Everything I thought up, looked up, dreamt up and experienced (more about this later) somehow finds a way into the words on the electronic equivalent of paper. It’s fun. It’s a challenge. It’s always a fight between the story and me, because often characters develop a mind of their own and then it’s my job to find the lasso or whip to get them where I want them to be. Mind you: that doesn’t always work…
This is the part that looks like the real writing.
Let me tell you… that’s not even half of it. That part of writing is just the typing out of the stuff that goes on on the page.
When I don’t write
When I don’t write, I am thinking about it. Researching stuff that should work and be correct, thinking up situations that I can put the characters in, fun stuff like that. There is, however, more to it than that. Many writers put personal experiences in their stories. Stuff they are dealing with or have dealt with. I do that too. It’s never possible to point at one character and say, “See that one? That’s exactly me.” Most of the time there is a little bit of me in each main character, and sometimes even in a side character. The reason for that isn’t always so clear to me. At times I put my character/victim in a position I have been in and let him or her figure things out. If that comes out the way I did it in my own life, then fine. If something else happens (which is possible in a story) then it can make me think. Did I handle that situation in the best way? (Of course because I decided these things knowing what I knew then, being who I was then. I’m someone else now.) Still these are interesting mind games to play because they help me reflect on life. (Clearly a sign I’m growing older, and I welcome that.)
Dealing with life
For me, that is what writing is in a big way. Not every story is loaded with this serious stuff. Sometimes there’s barely anything of it in a story, but several of them really contain a lot of ‘me’. The wonderful side of it is that it gives me a way to ‘hook into’ these events of years past and evaluate them. To see what I learnt since then.
I wonder if anyone here recognises this in any form or manner. I’m sure there are more ways than writing to achieve this.