Writing is the collaborative effort of one: You and the characters in your mind. This profession is one non-writers can’t understand. They don’t comprehend the self-imposed solitude. Why would you want to give up lunch with the girls or a few hours of yard sales to write? How could you forget your favorite aunt’s birthday? Where’s dinner? Who did you say woke you up in the middle of the night? Your hero?
My writing life is easier than most. I say that because, one, I’m retired and two, I’m married to a writer. When he jostles me awake at three in the morning to tell me he has to get up and write, I understand. When I’m in the middle of a heavy scene, he unloads the dishwasher and vacuums so I can keep kissing the computer keys with my fingertips. Our lives revolve around our writing; we are each other’s strongest supporter.
Yet I know few of you have unlimited time to write as I do. You have outside jobs, children, housework and other family obligations. At times, you may feel no one understands what it is you do. You take your research, your characters, your storylines and go inward. Within your creative mind, you blend, twist, sieve through words, then slowly birth your story. With all you’ve learned about your craft, you make your manuscript shine and infuse it with your unique voice. No one can understand the process better than another writer.
This process, by turns, exhilarates and drains us. Our storylines niggle at our thought processes as we go about our daily routines. They pop into our minds during a movie. They waken us from a sound sleep.
This alone makes us different. We do not march to the beat of a drum. We dance to the beat of a flute. We are writers. We do not destroy; we create. We do not seek crowds; we seek to reduce the crowds in our heads. We do not ignore conversations of strangers; we listen to the cadence of their voices and how they string words together. We remember a snippet of their dialogue and spice our writing with it. We are at once, different, and ordinary. We bring new meaning to the word “paradox.”
There is a unique way our minds work. Our souls feel on a deeper level. Our eyes find beauty in ordinary aspects of nature. We are word artists. Embrace it. Delight in it. For we are writers. Flowers of a different color, but beautiful flowers, nonetheless. Would we have it any other way?