Oh happy day! The day when you can set down that insecurity for a while and bask in the feeling of gently being propped up by your fellow authors. If you’re not part of this group, what are you waiting for? Any and all kinds of authors are welcome. The trolls are absent. The support is constant. Come and join us!
The question for November 7th: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?
This is a bit of a loaded question, but okay. I’m going to take a leap of faith and say; authors in general live a life stuffed full of imaginings. I feel like this is true of all of us. We slip easily into daydreams. We hear voices and create conflicts and see scenes in our heads. We’re stereotyped as being absent-minded for a good reason. We chase ideas, trying to transfigure them from smoke to solid. Possibilities, and ‘what-ifs’ lead us so strongly that it’s sometimes difficult to narrow the focus onto real things like “chores” and “bill due-by” and “grocery shopping for dinner tonight”.
That’s not just me, right? Please say it’s not just me.
I didn’t start actively trying to be a writer until 2016, when I buckled down, started researching authoring to within an inch of its life, and tried submitting some of my scribbles. But I’d been thinking up stories and writing them down since I was young. The urge to create wasn’t new, only the firm steps I took towards it.
For some strange reason I thought actively trying to wrestle these daydreams into the approved form with proper grammar and plot and everything, would make them, I dunno, less overwhelming. Show them who is the boss here, type of thing.
HA. HAHA. I was a naive small summer child, because instead they’ve become more. Turns out, actively encouraging the creativity with ‘what-ifs’ makes the damn thing insatiable. Rather than pinning the daydreaming down neatly to approved writing time, it now happens all the time.
An argument in a coffee store tempts me to follow the participants around, taking notes. She said what? And then you—oh. Oooh. That’s perfect for my characters. I love it. Keep going. Random passerby are now fair game for character quirks, especially that guy at the grocery store who walks with his belly out further than his feet and his chin out even further than that. My showers are no longer private, because I’m fleshing out scenes and dialogue and entire casts are sharing the steam with me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve now thought of something funny right as I’m drifting off to sleep and I snort laugh myself awake and find a pen (my husband is not as scared by this as you might think, I’ve always been a little odd). Reading someone else’s work now makes me think Oh that’s good, but I’d do it like this…
It’s like being surrounded by a constant cloud of butterflies. Story ideas and dialogue and little splats of inspiration hitting like an unexpected seagull at the beach. They’re pretty and shiny, but pervasive, and sometimes I wish they’d go away.
So I guess the answer to the November 7th question is, I have turned my creativity into a monster. I sewed all the bits together, shoved in a brain, attached electricity at the bolts, and now I’m watching my creation rampage towards the village with a slightly distracted smile.