I often wonder what makes seemingly ordinary people want to write. I’m an average person, I like watching The Blacklist and Supernatural. I do my grocery shopping and wash my clothes like regular people. I have a 9-5 job, a husband and a child.
Everything about me screams ordinary from the outside, but on the inside, I hold conversations with imaginary people in my head. It can be prompted by passing glance at a stranger going about their day, and it can create a whole universe where this person is a spy, or lost a loved one, or been abducted by aliens.
It must go beyond imagination. I know people with wild imaginations that wouldn’t dream of tying themselves to their laptop and batting out 80,000 words, or taking the time to edit that work and mould it into something they are proud of. These people have wondrous minds that I don’t even compare to, yet here I am, making squiggly lines on my screen. These are the kind of people you think, ‘Wow, I want to be them when I grow up.’ You know the kind, they live on another plane of existence. Always being carried by the wind from one project to another, while I’m tapping away on these keys.
That’s not to say I don’t love it. Because I do. This is my outlet, my blog posts and my novels are my form of escapism. But what drives me? I don’t really know. I don’t write for fame, and definitely not fortune. I don’t write because I have something to preach or teach. I write because I am missing without it. I’m going to put it down to a little spark of madness that pushed me along. It’s that spark that wakes me up a 2 am because I figured out a new plot point. Or dreamt about someone that would make the perfect character. It’s that madness that makes me sit on the train, shoulder to shoulder with other commuters and write character profiles, and imagine what suit a character would wear and, argue with myself about how details like satin lapels are important for the fictional function, this fictional character will be attending.
I don’t know definitively what makes me want to write. But I do hope that I never lose this little spark of madness, because it is too much fun being this strange kind of ordinary.
Can you pinpoint the moment when you thought “Yep, I’ve gotta do this or I’m going to go nuts?”