I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately… a lot of thinking, a lot of writing, a lot of everything. Sometimes life is overwhelming in all of the demands, distractions, duties. And yet I’m lucky to be so busy; my family is healthy, and so am I, I love what I do, and I have people around me who care for me. I’m a fortunate person, and I never forget that.
Some of that ‘thinking’ I alluded to has been about writing. Professional writers sometimes get so wrapped up in the business aspect – promotion, proposals, reviews, blogs and blurbs – that we forget to concentrate on what we love about it… the writing itself. An online acquaintance spoke of this recently, the sheer joy of writing that so-called amateurs express so freely and experience so fully.
I’m going to get back to that. I do love what I do, so very much. So, in the interest of rediscovering my love of writing (I still know it’s there, but in the hubbub of life it does get lost) I’m doing a little self-analysis.
Plotting is always a challenge for me, but I plot every book out before I write it. Inevitably there are changes that take place while I write, and that’s okay.
But what I truly love is creating people… characters.
I’ve heard it said that all characters contain an element of the author in them, and I suppose that’s true. But are writers aware of it, or is is subconscious? And further… do we truly know ourselves deeply enough to be aware of what we’re doing when we insert ourselves into characters?
I’ve found that I create women, especially, who are complicated and contradictory, strong – I hope – determined and passionate.
Is that me?
Well, maybe on my best day. But the rest of the time I’m moody, sulky, touchy and… wait, is that the three female dwarves from Snow White?
I’m also a little hard on myself, I’ve been told.
I feel like I’m sometimes moody, but that means I’m often up, and able to help others raise their spirits.
I can be sulky, but I snap out of it quickly because to counter that I have a good sense of the ridiculous, and any sulky person is purely ridiculous and needs to grow up.
I think of myself as touchy, but most of the time I try to restrain that because it is no one else’s fault if I’m feeling out-of-sorts that day.
To top it off, I know darn well I can be mercurial… and I’ve fired off the e-mails to prove it. But I’ve made a vow to myself to put those e-mails in the ‘Drafts’ file for 24 hours before letting a cranky moment hurt someone else. So I’m capable of restraint and honesty. And growth. Lots and lots of growth.
In other words, I’m a work in progress, just like everyone else, and just like my heroines. I have faith that as I grow as a person, I’ll grow as a writer, too, and that, for me, is my greatest comfort.