What does writing mean to me? Simply put, writing is my out.
It is so easy to get lost in the sea of life. There is that always growing to-do list to follow, work to be completed, people to see – and it often seems like there is no getting ahead, no moving forward. Basically, we are a species always on the go and often forget to step back and appreciate the simple things that life offers us.
I like music. There is something about putting those headphones on, turning that sound up high, drowning out the world and getting lost in your own thoughts that is so appealing; so addicting.
I like to draw. Taking that pencil in my hand and letting my mind control what movements to make… creating something out of nothing and being proud to see a vision come to life. It’s inspiring.
I like to read. Getting lost in the pages and feeling like a part of the fantasy, one with the characters. It’s better than most vacations.
I like to dance. Feeling the beat run through your veins and letting your body fall one with the sound; feeling free and easy. It’s the best physical exercise.
I like lots of activities; mental, emotional, physical… And I enjoy taking that moment to step back from life’s train and get that breath of fresh air. But to me, writing is all of the above and so much more. It’s an interpretation of me. My stories, they are my dreams, my fantasies, my life. My characters, they are my best friends, my relatives, my acquaintances, my peers. There is no better moment than when the story unfolds on the paper, leading itself from idea to flow. Many times, I don’t put much thought behind a story. It could be a song on the radio, a commercial on tv, a conversation with a friend, or something as simple as a breeze on a spring afternoon, a thunderstorm late at night, a flock of birds in the sky. Wherever the idea comes from, once it is sparked I find it hard to shake away.
I am one of those writers who rarely plans out the story. I’d much rather let it control me, than me control it. Granted, I often go back and change details and scenes, but I allow my mind to take me on its journey and only offer a helping hand once the ending has been revealed. I don’t like to utilize tools such as outlines unless the story proves extreme. I do take notes, and lots of them. Most of my stories can be found in note form only, and it drives my reader’s nuts. When I work on a story and the ideas come at me from all sides, I find my notes to be the only way I can think clearly enough to form the sentence. And research… I do lots of research. On locations, characters, time, events, milestones… I sometimes do research on simple things like hair and fashion. I want my readers to believe in the details I provide, so I go long and far to make them accurate.
Years ago, writing was something I leant on in times of emotional distress. It didn’t matter if the work made sense in the days that followed; it made sense at the moment and was successful in changing my mood. I have often depended on writing as many people depend on people, drugs, alcohol. If I had an extraordinarily bad day and was ready to pull my hair out in frustration, I broke out my notebook and pen. When I was sad and felt more alone than a sailboat deep at sea, I broke out my notebook and pen. When I was happy, angry, bored, excited… my notebook and pen went everywhere with me. And still does, in a sense. Today, it’s my cell phone. The notebook app is stocked full of ideas and paragraphs, scenes and conversations. I laugh because if my cell was ever stolen the thief would be convinced he’d happened across a crazy person.
There have been times in my life that, if not for writing, I am not sure I would have pulled through. Therefore, writing is my out. My relief, my best friend, my partner in crime. It is more than a passion, it is my way of life. I am a writer, through and through.