Thursday, September 6, 2012

Intellectualizing All the Feels

Originally this post was going to be titled "It's a Writer Thing, You Wouldn't Understand". As I didn't want to come off as sounding least not more pretentious than I usually sound anyway.

If you are a writer, you will get this. If you are not a writer, it may not make as much sense, but please bear with me. It might make sense at some point or you'll leave scratching your head and wondering why I'm not in a hospital somewhere wearing a very special jacket...and maybe a I don't...well, you get the point.

What became of your lamb, Clarice?

Anyway, the long and short of it is, I'm going quietly crazy writing this story. This is not a unique thing to happen just to me. All writers hit that point somewhere in the process. The story gets so overwhelming, the emotions get so deep, the tension invades your dreams, your life, your every waking moment. There are times when I just want to cry for no reason. Other times I want to hit my head against the wall...again for no reason. Except there is a reason. The reason is the story. It's always the story.

You can put the phone down. I'm not that crazy, I'm a writer.

I imagine that a lot of insane people will probably say the same thing. Does that make me crazy? I guess this would be a bad time to tell you that the characters talk to me when I'm writing. Not actually talking to me, not in the sense that most people would assume, but they do. They whisper to my unconscious about what they are needing to do to propel the story forward. To build the tension toward the inevitable climax. To elicit the reader to feel, to dream, to cry, to scream. To feel every feeling that they, the characters feel. Which in turn, I as the writer, must feel and therefore express.

Make sense yet? Confused? Worried about my continued sanity?

Don't worry, I'm completely sane. Of course, Hannibal Lechter would tell you the same thing. Or maybe not. It would depend on what he was trying to get you to do and feel at the time.

The more I write this, the more I doubt my own sanity, but bear with me.

Anyway, I was talking to mom the other day. As awesome as she is, I couldn't explain it to her in any way that made sense. I told her what was happening. Her response was simple.

Mom: "Stop thinking about it when you aren't writing."

Me: "Um. Can't."

She didn't get it. As awesome as she is, she didn't get it. I didn't expect her to get it. I think she was a little worried about me. I would probably be worried about me too if I didn't understand.

So here's why I can't stop. Stopping the story in my head would be akin to not breathing. I won't stop because it can't stop. To stop is to cease to exist. This may sound dramatic, but trust me, everyone has that inside of them. That drive, that need, that to stop means to cease to exist. To curl up into a ball and just stop.

I've gotten to the point in my writing where it isn't just a want, it's a need. Even if the story is driving me crazy, I can't stop. I don't want to stop. I want to take this whole crazy train to the end so I can look back and say "Wow! What a ride!". So that when you, the reader, pick up the book you can't stop reading it. It won't let you because you will feel all the pain, love, happiness, and fear of every character. That you will dream about them and you'll be desperate to KNOW what happens even after the last page is read.

See? I'm not crazy or maybe I am. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. I have a story in my head that won't go away. I knew this was going to happen before I started it. I also knew that resisting it was like stopping the rising tide or the setting of the sun.

Resistance is Futile
So, crazy or not, I'm writing this damn story.

'Till next time.


  1. ha! that's so normal...for a writer. i love how your mom said to just stop thinking about it when you're not writing. as if! i let my mind work on a plot problem while i'm doing something else, say driving, and it does an excellent job of coming up with solutions that i hadn't thought of when wracking my brain at the computer. sometimes you DO need to get away from the computer and "have a life" outside of writing so you'll have experiences to draw from and have something to write about, but that doesn't mean your brain ever stops being open or stops thinking about writing.

    1. Exactly! Only another writer gets it! I know she was just trying to help, but unfortunately, I can't stop. I do get away from the computer and get out into the real world, but the story is always in my head. And if the story is in my head, the feelings are in my head.

      I described it to someone as the story is eating holes in my brain and feelings are falling out.

  2. We get it! :) That's why you love us and hang out with us (internet-ally speaking). Only other writers truly understand, like you said. My husband doesn't know what I'm talking about when I complain about how screwy I feel when I'm in a project. But that's why you have us. Vent away, fellow writer, and we'll tell you you're not crazy (as other crazy people often do). :)

  3. "Stop thinking about it when you aren't writing."

    LOL! You have no idea how much I laughed at this. If that was possible, I would have slept for the past three nights!

    I can't stop either. I HATE this story at the moment (when I'm not in completely and absolute obsessive love with it) and I still can't stop. It hasn't stopped for Ten Years.

    Let's be crazy together ^_^

    1. Also: please turn off CAPTCHA - it's a bitch for those of us not on Blogger :(

    2. LOL. Yes! :D

      I go through the same feelings. I love this story. I know it can be totally awesome. At the same time, I hate this story because it eats holes in my brain!

    3. Fine! I turned off Captcha! :-p I'm posting all my spam messages on your blog though. :-p

    4. I welcome all spam on my blog - WP has a great spam blocker ;)

      I definitely have holes in my brain from this whole story writing business ;)

    5. Spam fight! :-p Ok, not really. Blogger has a pretty decent spam filter, so I'm good. I was just getting a lot of weird traffic from various places and wanted to protect myself. But, since people are complaining, I'll just expose's not what I meant. :-p

  4. YAYAY No more captcha!! LOL

    And YAY for the insane party!! We all know these feelings well! If we don't write, we die!

    They have an app for that...

    1. LOL. :D Thanks. :D I'll send you my spam comments as well. :-p

    2. See word press has spam filter built in ;)
      and it even works on my self-hosted wordpress blog. And I don't need Captcha! :D

    3. Blogger has a spam filter too. :-p Actually caught a couple comments. So there. I don't NEED captcha, but it does help with the bots and crap.

  5. ...Got that padded room all decorated yet for when you go for an extended stay? LOL!

    Loved this post - and it is totally a writer thing. It's so funny how little the general public understands about the writing process, how one MUST go crazy (at least a little) to get any good writing out.

    By the way, I'm at this point in my manuscript too! We can be straight jacket buddies! Haha!

    1. Thanks! I hope the padded room comes with a coffee maker otherwise I might go crazy. o_0

      See? I was trying to explain this to non-writers and they just don't get it. :D

  6. Let's pretend I'm not OCD and I'm not posting on my own blog so that I have an even number of comments. Truly, I'm not OCD. And now I've said OCD three times, but I'm really not.

    *twitches in corner*