Today I’m going to tell you about how I constantly bring myself to tears and give myself panic attacks. I guess it’s not really my fault, but I created these characters and though they seemed to have taken on a life of their own I am their creator so any pain and hardship they encounter is ultimately my own doing, yes?
I’m definitely not a professional writer, though I would love to be. My one problem is that I have way to many projects going on at once. Some are personal, some are with friends, and others I created for this very blog. Sometimes my characters get angry with me and refuse to cooperate. Most writers associate this with writers block, but I however like to think that the characters in the stories I create just need some personal space and therefore refuse to ‘talk to me’ as my friend Queenie so brilliantly put it.
I suppose I should spend my down time reading but instead I watch a lot of netflix then while I’m driving I tend to have the apostrophes (that was a Hook reference) and get myself overly excited to begin writing again. Just this week, as I was trying to work on a very different blog post about a friends organized yet unorganized wedding I was struck with a brilliant idea to get my television series started again.
About a year ago, a friend from college approached me after reading a few documents I sent him. He said that the material was original, captivating and exciting but it wasn’t going anywhere. I had hundreds of scattered documents telling the stories of a series of characters I had created when I was in Jr. High that helped me cope with my parents divorce. He encouraged me to start their story from the beginning and so began the Anthrogean Chronicles. I put out chapters on our shared google drive folder that my friends referred to as episodes. And I’ve been writing them ever since. Currently I’m on season five and I had been stuck on a heart wrenching scene where my MC’s already broken heart was shattered once more.
I don’t want to spoil any details because I plan on releasing them maybe on this blog or Archive of Our Own as a Fan Fiction of sorts–but let me tell you I cried so hard. I was up till three A.M. bawling my eyes out as my MC’s heart was splayed out for everyone to see. I’ve tortured this girl, her, her friends and her family and it’s heartbreaking because I don’t know what will happen. I always say that they’ll get their happy ending but with the way things look now, the happy ending I originally planned doesn’t look so happy anymore.
This is what it’s like to be an author. The characters–these people–that I’ve created are like my children. I hurt when they hurt, I’m happy when they’re happy, and although I may know a few things they don’t I certainly don’t know what their future will hold. I’ve written many things, including a novel, and somehow nothing turns out quite like I had envisioned them too. I don’t know about any of the professional authors out there, but an outline is just that, it’s an outline. The future is always in flux, always in a constant state of change and that happy ending you planned for your characters could be ripped away with one quick flick of the wrist. One pull of a trigger or one wrong sentence and it could change their lives forever.
I’m under no impression that my characters are real, I’m not that crazy old bat from Nim’s Island, but I do feel what they feel. I’m there for every homicidal thought, tear of joy and heart shattering moment.
So you want to know why some authors are a little crazy? It’s because our over active imaginations keep us up at night. Our characters are constantly buzzing in the back of our minds, they’re in every cup of coffee and every flurried flight of our fingers over the keyboard. They are apart of us and we wouldn’t want it any other way. I even accidentally dress like one of my characters when I’m in a bad mood. Instead of my normal hipster vibe, I opt for a dark ensemble and my combat boots.
This is the power of writing. Words can inspire even the most stubborn of people to be better. Writing is an art and a good writer can not only weave words into a finely knitted novel, but they can weave themselves into your heart. Phrases from my favorite novels as a child still hover in my thoughts and encourage me to try harder, be better and live happier. A good author will embed words into the reader’s hearts, and that’s what I aim to do. I just hadn’t been aware that first I would embed the words into my own heart.
Last month I wrote this crazy piece about a girl who had amnesia and her best friend, who was secretly in love with her, refused to leave her alone. I made myself and my best friend cry so flipping hard. Honestly, if I didn’t write I wouldn’t even know what emotions were.
That’s what it’s like to be a writer. Even if no one else ever reads your work, you still created something beautiful and you should be proud of that.
Have a good weekend WildeKats,