Monday, February 16, 2015

The Writer Fighter

I am the fighting champion of the universe- in my own head.

If you ever wondered what it's like to be a writer, do let me explain in the most clear, concise ways possible.

We are lunatics. Pure, unadulterated nutballs.

Who else could spend a day by herself writing, then leave the room and want to be alone? 
Who else would avoid drama of any kind, because she just had a huge mega-argument with all of her characters?
Who else can create a myriad of characters and no plot? Or a ton of plots, but no characters?
Who else would have five hundred projects ready to write, then she gets writer's block?

Me, that's who. And anyone else who puts a pen to page or fingers to keyboard.

Yes, I have spent the day writing. My day starts out with a story or an article, and I either have to find a plot or research some information to get the work going. By the time I'm done reading, researching, messaging and emailing people, I want nothing to do with anyone once I leave my writing space. Basically, I need to unclutter my head before it explodes.

You want drama? Try talking to fifteen characters all wanting to be in the limelight. Several of them complain that what you wrote isn't true to their personality. Or they just plain hate the way you wrote them. Not to mention the in-fighting when the antagonist and protagonist get together, pointing fingers at the Comedy Relief or the Best Friend, for getting them into this story in the first place. 
By the time you finish the story (or in my case, the paragraph), any other drama will not be tolerated. Heads will roll if my children even speak to me about what one sibling did to another- both will be grounded for life at the drop of a hat. Luckily for me my kids know this, and don't talk to me for at least an hour after I've been writing.

I have yet to meet a writer who can create both plot and characters fluidly. Writers have trouble with one or the other, period. For me it's plot. I have a ton of characters (hence the arguments in the above paragraph), but nowhere to put them. Others have issues with plenty of places to go, but no one to invite to the party. You can't put us writers in a group either- we'll be so busy telling the tales of the difficulties in our writing journeys that no one will be doing any actual writing!

Writer's block comes when everything is so jammed up in your head that nothing moves- much like a traffic jam. You have to find the right pebble in the landslide to get things moving again, and that can take forever. The best part is this usually happens when you have a deadline. Ideas will flow like a raging river when there's no deadline, but give a writer a deadline and her brain becomes like a constipated elephant. 

I'm a writer. I'm a fighter. I'm a character referee and plodding plotter. I'm also a nutball. And that's okay. 

And the second I'm finished this post, I'm going to need a nap, because my characters are yelling at me for telling on them. Yikes!

3 comments:

Kate Hodges said...

So very true!

thea williams said...

Beth, you have an amazing way of getting your point across while smiling through gritted teeth. I love your style! Whether you get a handle on your character/plot issues or not, PROMISE you'll never stop writing! You've been granted the gift!

Beth Brubaker said...

@thea williams

Thank you so much! I'll tell my characters you said that- maybe then they'll give me a day off! :)

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