Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Writers are #CRAZY

Hi, guys! Leigh here. A.k.a., LTM; a.k.a., RCA (not RZA because that would be cool). *waves*

First post. #Crazy.

I should be more specific and say "Creative Writers" are crazy, because I used to be a nonfiction writer, a journalist, so I remember being a sane writer. I kept a clean house, I returned phone calls, I bought groceries, I shaved my legs regularly...

But simply being a disheveled mess is different from writer-crazy.

If you're wondering how I dare accuse creative people of something so stereotypical, let me share this quote I read by the poet Frank Bidart: "Insanity is the insistence on meaning."

Suddenly, it all made sense to me--I kept insisting on finding meaning, and I was nuts.

And I could pinpoint exactly when it happened. The moment I moved from reporting what others had done, from following the facts to inventing facts, characters, situations, I crossed the line.

To create believable characters and situations, we have to model them after what's real. So as writers, we start looking at real events, insisting they have meaning.

To write real good guys/gals, who aren't cardboard, we have to discover why they're good. Why they're bad. Why they have that tiny touch of darkness only they can see (or only the very few).

The same goes with real bad guys/gals. We have to insist on meaning behind their badness. Did it start in childhood? Was it the result of abuse? Was their heart broken? Did they just get stuck in one too many car lines?

I've been in the writing cave for the last several weeks, so forgive me if I'm getting way too abstract. I think this is the process, though, consciously or subconsciously. And it's what causes writers to walk around with their heads in the clouds, distracted. It's what keeps our houses and possibly yards a wreck.

What about you guys? Are you still spit-n-polished? Are your shirts ironed? Am I doing something wrong?

Even if I am, I have to confess, it's a cool kind of madness. Insisting on meaning.

Write on, friends! Can't wait to see what you uncover in your search~ <3


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