Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Good Kind of Crazy

In all my fifteen-and-a-half years of life, writing and dreaming and meeting new people I can honestly say I have never met a writer who’s sane. Why that is I’m not exactly sure. I’m a writer and still I am unable to comprehend the quirky antics of our species. I’ve been a writer all my life and I still don’t get it. In fact, the older I get the less I expect to know about this strange race of right-brained people. Though it may be in vain, I intend to unravel the mystery of the fiction writer even if it kills me. And I’m going to start right here.

I know what you’re thinking. “If you’re a writer shouldn’t you be able to understand them at least?” Well I do understand writers, I just don’t know why they are the way they are. Plus, writing is in my blood. It’s an in-erasable piece of my being that I’m not sure what to do with. And I don’t know where it came from. “Of course!” you think. “Genetics.” But as much as I’d love to agree with you, I can’t. My parents are in no way writers. My dad edits and produces audio and video programs in his own business. My mom works full time at our church as bookstore coordinator and in accounting. Mom got her BA in English but that’s not the same as being a fiction writer. Yeah, she’s always wanted to write a book but that’s not the same as actually writing one.

“Well when did you first notice you were a writer?”

I can honestly say that I don’t remember. I’ve been writing books since I could write. Even when I couldn’t write I made up picture books and then narrated the stories to go with them. Looking back I realize they weren’t very good, but hey, it was writing.

“So no one in your family writes?”

My cousin writes, but I know that’s not it. Come to think of it, my aunt writes. Yeah she writes fiction books. We actually have a lot in common. We look alike, we play guitar (she’s way better than me, though), we write songs and we write books. Now that I think about it, I realize a lot of my genetic makeup probably comes from her.

“Okay so now you know where your writing instinct comes from, how does this help us figure out why writers aren’t sane?”

Well I’m not exactly sure. My aunt is probably the least insane writer I’ve met so she won’t be a lot of help figuring this out. But I suppose if I figure out what makes me insane, I’ll have some clue to what makes all other fiction writers insane.

“Okay well what makes you insane?”

Again, I don’t really know the answer. But if I was to take a wild guess I’d say it’s because I write.

“So writers are insane . . . because they write.”

Yeah if you think about it actually does make sense. A crazy mindset may it be, but hear me out. A fiction writer spends his days writing up some fictional universe, putting people in it and making stuff happen to the people. When he’s not doing this he’s brainstorming the sequel or another new book. Always, in the back of his mind he has some sort of book he’s working on or plans to work on. All this exposure to a parallel universe can do crazy things to your brain.

“It’s starting to make sense now. Creating alternate worlds contributes to the insanity of a writer.”

Exactly, writers are always trying to come up with a great new protagonist or plot. As a matter of fact, fiction writers (and by fiction writers I mean me) come up with six worst case scenarios before breakfast all involving death, mutilation and global catastrophe.

“When do you come up with the solutions to the problems?”

On the ride to school.

“But what if you don’t go to school?”

Then on the ride to work.

“But what if you don’t go to work?”

Okay, subject change! The most reasonable explanation is the idea that they are always creating new worlds. A fiction writer is essentially god over his story. He creates his world. He creates his characters. He can even create his own laws of physics if he wants to. There are no rules or regulations to writing a fiction book. Just grab a pencil, a notebook and some caffeine and have at it. 

“So fiction writers live in their own little worlds?”

Exactly, and in them they can do and be whomever they want. I can make myself queen of the universe and you my court jester if I wish. 

“You would do that?”

If you got on my nerves, which you are beginning to do right now. Go away; we solved the mystery behind the insanity of writers and now I have some writing to do.

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