willowmeg: Amber skull in front of round, moonlike drawing of flowers, in front of a purple starry sky. (Default)
[personal profile] willowmeg
Writing a book - even a "fake" one, I suppose, since so many people seem to think that the basis of "real" means something that one could publish and earn money for legally, no matter that that's a stupid way to think - writing a book (writing bookS) really does change your brain.

You think you have a style of thinking. You think you have a way of looking at the world; a way of connecting to the people you know, the people you love. A way of dealing with the people you don't. Or maybe you don't think you have those things, at all: you simply are, in the way that you are, without ever giving it consideration.

And then something changes.

It's gradual, at first. It starts with a fantasy, maybe, a love of a character that grows into a desire to see that character do more; a need to see that character shift and grow and change and love, and then before you know it that character is more to you than they ever had been. And that's fine. That's something that others can relate to, because that character exists for them too, just not in the same way. Maybe just as big under their skin (some of them), but not in *your* way. Not until you find a way to make them see it, too - and then, if you do it just right, maybe your version of that character can snug up under their skin along with their own version. Maybe they'll learn to love yours, too.

And that's one thing. And it's pretty nice. But it's only the beginning, because along the way there were details, and extraneous things, and suddenly - oh - you've got yourself more characters. And these ones are different; these ones don't exist for anyone else at all, and they never have, and they never will until you push them out to be seen. They grow, and move, and crave sushi, and laugh at stupid jokes...they listen to music and wish for things (that only you can give them, and that you still may not)...they misunderstand things, and fidget with their hair, and wish they could sleep in longer. They're all so incredibly unique, which is endlessly surprising, given that they've all come from the same place. And the strangest thing is that they're still there when you're not writing.

They're somehow, inexplicably, still there.

Sometimes I'm sitting in my car, lately, and I look out the window at the person two cars away; I study the shadow of his head and I almost think I can see the echo of a disappointment, or an itchy collar, or a craving for pizza. I hear a woman's voice on the other end of my phone call to the utility company, and I think about whether she has a cat at home, whether she wishes she had another cup of coffee even though her doctor's recommended she cut back. None of these things are real, but I find myself thinking these things just the same, as if all the people in the real world were reducing themselves to stories inside my head, and the people inside my head were rearing up simultaneously to become more real. Is it stranger that I never cared before, or that I care now? Because - at the same time, I can barely bring myself to interact with anyone in the passing sense. I've curled into myself. I barely care about my actual work enough to do it - thank goodness much of it can be done while my attention is elsewhere. I can't stand Facebook for more than thirty seconds at a time. I'm only talking to a select few friends (and only those ones that, even if they don't understand what I'm doing, at least are tolerant of the fact that it's really all that exists inside my head now). I'm only really *connecting* with the two or three people that have made themselves available to me, who've decided to help me take this journey. That seems disingenuous, maybe.

How is it possible to feel so purposefully, utterly disconnected from everything - and at the same time feel like I understand so much more of the world, so much more of the otherness of other people and how they manage to live and breathe and exist in brains that are not mine? How is it possible that nothing real even matters - and at the same time, that everything is so much more vividly real?

Maybe, when I finish my run with these licensed characters, when they've lived out their stories and figured out their mistakes and eaten all their sushi, I'll root around inside my head and find new ones, more of my own - maybe they'll want to do things in their own world. Maybe they won't. I don't know anything about having my own world, yet.

Writing is so very strange.
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willowmeg: Amber skull in front of round, moonlike drawing of flowers, in front of a purple starry sky. (Default)

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