Friday, May 11, 2012

Beware The Writer

Being a writer has some perks, but in the long run, most people would look at being a writer as not such a great thing.  After all, we talk to voices in our heads.  We're often kept up at night because ideas are occurring to us. We often find ourselves procrastinating until the last possible moment, so plans are cancelled while we're frantically writing/editing/ripping our manuscripts to shreds.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying being a writer is a bad thing, in fact, I love it, but a lot of people just don't see the perks.

First of all, we can claim creative license.  What does that mean?  It means that, should we get upset or annoyed over a situation or with a person, there is always the possibility that the annoyance will be worked out with writing.  (This could include things like characters being created who look or act remarkably like the person whose annoying us and killed off.  Or situations that we were recently in being put in a book and the outcome being completely different.)  It's a great way to work off the stress or annoyance without taking it out on other people.  Personally, I think this is a great advantage to being a writer.  If I start to stress, I write about it.  That way it's not all building up inside.

Then there's the fact that we can get completely lost in these worlds that we've created.  Have a two hour trip to the hair dresser planned?  No problem!  Writers can spend that time thinking about a scene they've been having issues with.  Of course, I for one, tend to like to write down what I'm trying to think about, but if I need to I can work with just imagining it.  I've worked through more than one issue in my scenes during a time when I couldn't pull out anything to work on it.  Sometimes it even helps to get to sleep, cause you can tell yourself stories.  Don't even get me started on what you can make up for your kids once you have them.

The excuse 'I had an idea and had to write it down' can get you out of all sorts of conversations that you're not enjoying.  Now, I've yet to use this one myself, but I have actually had to go write down an idea before, so I'm sure that when it does happen, I'll be able to pull it off.  Getting bored during a conversation?  Act all excited and tell them an idea just occurred to you and disappear.  They might think you're a little strange, but they'll forgive you.  After all, you're a writer!  You're creating a novel!  It must have been a really important idea.

Have you ever been out and about and noticed signs hanging on businesses doors?  Have you ever noticed when the grammar/spelling/anything is wrong with it?  Writers do.  It's like our eye is immediately drawn to the mistake.  Now, this can be annoying for us, because it bugs us that they got it wrong and still put it up.  (Then again, some of us don't edit our blog posts...)  On the other hand, writers can feel superior when they read those signs because they would never make such an obvious mistake!  More than one good eye roll has occurred thanks to this little superpower.

Finally (and this is my favourite) is creativity.  Not to be confused with creative license.  Creativity is something we can use in everyday life.  On all sorts of things.  Decorating a room.  Setting a fancy table.  Coming up with solutions to problems.  All of these things take creativity and vision that writers have.  That they need in order to write their books.  Of course, this can also be used when plotting the murders of the people that annoy you when writing about it doesn't work.  It's the writers who come up with the truly creative deaths.

Remember all of these things the next time you're talking to a writer.  If they suddenly disappear, it could be that your conversation isn't quite what you thought it was.  If they seem distracted, they could be thinking about their latest project.  And, if they're starting to get annoyed, they could be thinking about putting you in a scene (or, just planning your death).  You never quite know what's going on in the mind of the writer.

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