Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So you want to be a writer? You might like to reconsider.

I do not like to write. I write because, as C.S. Lewis once said, no~one writes the kind of books I want to read. My problem is I want someone else to write my books & save me the maddening headache of plots gone awry & characters thumbing their noses at the plot because they have their own ideas about the life you've given them. Please, do not tell me that being invented characters you can make them do anything you like. Anyone who writes will tell you that's just not true. Characters take on a life of their own. They do things you never expected, say things they shouldn't, mangle carefully crafted plots, end up in predicaments they then expect you to extricate them from. They are worse than pets ~ or children. They are an intoxicating addiction.

And it gets worse. Being a visual I only write what I can *see*. So to immerse myself in writing is to live with double vision, seeing things that just aren't there, & once turned on it's not like a tap you can just turn off again & it is, unfortunately, far more alluring than the real world. This is a frustrating predicament when you are a committed homeschooling mama with the sort of schedule we have. I do not know of any greater frustration than the ache to write & a lack of time to indulge it ~ especially when to write is to meet up with long time *friends* who have been hanging round happily doing their own thing inside your head & are now begging for some overdue attention.

I can remember thinking, when my kiddies were tiny & I wrote my first novel amidst a plethora of temper tantrums, diapers, & massive bedlam, that I would have time to write when my children were older...well, no~one explained to me it doesn't work quite like that so I was happily ignorant for years. Now I am rusty & my confidence is low but Ari & co., are still hanging round & Ari, being Ari, is running out of patience. I like Ari; I really do. She is fun, but I am extremely aware that this is the character who soaked her Ollamhs' white silk shirts in beet soup turning them a charming pink, put tadpoles in his soup & ferrets in his bed. Really, she's perfectly lovely; She just has a small problem with her Ollamh. And now she has one with me. No I'm not mad ~ not yet anyway. I just need to write so that, maybe, Ari will leave me alone. I will miss her when she's gone.

Mamaolive ~ this is for you.


MamaOlive said...

Thanks for the plug pic. It is pretty similar to the English ones.

My mother will tell you that life doesn't slow down even when the children are all grown and gone. You just have to 'make' time.

Mrs. Darling said...

You hit the nail on the head! I love how you described your characters as real live people. No one can convince a writer that they are not! I hope you hvev time for them soon!

kimba said...

Went looking for a picture of a powerboard for mamaolive and found that the UK and maybe USA call them powerstrips. There is an article on wikipedia under powerstrips and a link in that article to a page on different power systems around the world.

MamaOlive said...

Kimba, I saw the article you mentioned. That's what I was talking about, too. :-) We just refer to them as surge suppressors because we buy the kind with that built in, for use with computer, TV, and stereo.
Funny conversation I started.