Other than food and books, we love a good list here at Fork & Fiction! And games. We’re always game for games. So here’s our crack at the Top Three Game under the theme of : What Writing Has Taught Us About Ourselves.
1. I’m a great starter. (But just an okay follow-through-er.) I get inspired and swept away easily, but the momentum to keep the story going tends to be the hardest part for me. I love being seduced by an idea (Or maybe the idea loves seducing me. How’s that for turning it around?), but as with all love stories, eventually the passion fades and the work begins. Luckily, I don’t seem to have the same problem with actual relationships. Right, DH?
2. I like being alone. Of course I enjoy the company of others, but I’m perfectly fine being alone too. As a writer, I think you have to be okay with that. Maybe I should also say I enjoy being alone in the company of my characters, because we’re not really alone when we’re writing, are we? Unless I’m struggling to write a really tough section–then yes, I feel really, really alone. When I’m working on a book, my ideal situation would be to get away from my family, friends and distractions (and hopefully bring really good food with me) and hole up somewhere to just write. I don’t really even miss people when I’m in the zone. Maybe don’t tell my kids that.
3. I need to read. This might sound obvious, but the thing is, reading has become crucial for my writing output, not just for recreation or research. Reading is my writing fuel. When I get a chance to read and savour a book, I get inspired and all these new ideas or half-borrowed thoughts flood my brain. And when I don’t read, I feel less fertile, less balanced.
1. All of Ria’s top three. See above. That was easy. Now…off to make cake.
1. Okay, let’s get truthful. I am a thief. Or, perhaps, a magpie. Before becoming one I assumed writers were required to be 100% original with their ideas before they put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper. It proved to be a paralyzing assumption and probably why I came to this party so late. No-one is 100% original, in my opinion. How can we be? We’re all shaped and influenced; “no man is an island” and all that. Our ideas, my ideas, are all begged, borrowed, observed, stolen, snatched from dreams. Pieces of truth, pieces of fantasy, something you heard someone say once..it all gets woven together, like the magpie’s nest, hopefully with some twinkly, little treasures in amongst the dried grass and twigs and dirt.
2. I avoid conflict on paper too. I don’t like arguments and disharmony and befuddlement in real life and when I have to write them (they have to be written, life and books need them, it’s just the way) I put it off. I don’t like putting my protagonists into danger, hurting them or making them confused. I often write beginnings and endings and then get grumpy and lose momentum in the middle. I don’t wanna break her heart! I just don’t wanna! But I’m learning; I’m getting better, I’m starting to understand the inevitability and importance of it. First noble truth of the Buddha.
3. I’m a romantic. I knew this already of course, ’cause I’m an annoying swoon-y kinda gal. I was dying, just dying, for Anne to marry Gilbert. I fell for the line / sermon / universal truth, seemingly everywhere, that if I found the right person, my soul mate, I’d be filled up from the inside and never need for anything again. I would find my Gilbert. Everything would be perfect and whole. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the idea and I still really love my guy (bless his tolerant soul). My manuscripts are positively strewn with love stories. But, what I didn’t expect was to fall so in love with a job. With this writing thing. It’s not easy, it is a lot like a marriage. Exhausting, frustrating, challenging, stretching. But I am so in love. It’s family. I can’t imagine life without it. Swoon, swoon.