My imagination is my greatest asset and (sadly) flaw.
I’m sure most people can say that, but this is for me, and most people can take a hike.
See, real life is fairly interesting. Most of the people I’ve met, however, failed to meet my expectations in some way or other. Did I fail to meet theirs? Without a doubt, I’m sure. Oh I probably wasn’t funny enough, or I was too detached, not affectionate enough, too independent, too bossy, too opinionated, too competitive, too overbearing, too passive aggressive, too much of a homebody, too quiet, too loud, too much (the list goes on and on).
I, too, could make a list, though (boy, I could write books—oh wait).
Anyway, this isn’t about that.
This is about why I write.
I pride myself on being well-versed, but that is hardly ever the case. Ask me something—anything. I won’t reply right away. I’m careful in choosing my words. When you say something, you can’t unsay it. You can’t take back the things you say. It’s not like in a courtroom, “the jury will disregard that.”
So, when I finally do say something, I have extensively thought about it. I’ve put myself in the recipient’s shoes. I’ve decided that this must be said; not saying what I mean would go against all that I stand for (justice, honesty, you know—the things that everyone should stand for).
Sometimes I don’t say anything. This is usually the case if I lack respect for the other party (95% of the time–people sure love to dig their holes).
I write, and my characters are flawed. I think they’re more of a reflection of me than I care to admit (even parts of the unkind ones). We can all be unkind, and I’ll be the first to confess that I have been unkind. I’ve always felt justified, though and getting me to apologize is a feat, for sure (again, once you’ve been in my head, listened to my arguments and rebuttals, maybe then I can apologize if I missed something [I probably didn’t, but try me]).
Again, I’m straying.
I write, because I can’t read the minds of others. I write, because I need clear endings and beginnings. In stories, you can give people a motive. You can believe one thing for as long as you’d like, and then you can snatch it away, “a-ha! That character’s intentions are what! I should’ve seen that!”
In writing, you can empathize with the worst antagonist. You can sympathize with the someone you’d probably never feel sorry for in real life. You can give people second chances. You can give them third chances. You can love people in spite of their flaws, because they prove themselves worthy. They don’t do it blatantly, either. It’s just in their genetic makeup (or the way I orchestrate it). You want to love them. You want to give them a hug and say, “it’s going to be okay.”
You don’t get that in real life. People don’t tell you why they’re the way they are. People don’t explain to you why they say or don’t say what they have or haven’t said.
Even when you see someone’s true colors, you still won’t understand. They’re probably not their real colors (horror of horrors!).
Let me repeat: You will never understand some (many) things.
I understand unhappy endings. I understand sappy beginnings. I understand and empathize with some people (I try my best with what I’m given. Sometimes I get a uni bomber, though). I understand fleeting moments, and I also understand some scientific stuff too (how intelligent do I sound right there?). I may not agree with a majority of things, but I still get it. It’s taken me an unbelievably long time to accept the things I can’t control (truth be told: I’m still struggling with this on occasion).
It’s people I don’t always understand. I don’t understand motivations. I don’t understand intentions. I don’t understand murky. I don’t understand gray areas. I don’t understand fuzzy. I don’t understand a lot.
I will always need answers. I need clear cut, direct answers. I need black or white. I need reasons. Since I was fifteen or sixteen and just beginning to understand that I didn’t understand, I struggled with the human mind. Countless nights were spent staring at the sky and thinking, “what the heck?” (Actually, I was probably a blubbering adolescent, but you get the picture.) I may have gotten older (a bit wiser), but I’m still in the dark.
For every action there is a reaction. I must be primitive in my approach to life, but I say what I mean and mean what I say. I’m articulate for a reason. I would never want someone to say, “well, you know, that one time, you used the words kind of, which implies not totally.”
Of course, I’m a black and white kind of girl, so kind of isn’t really in my vocabulary.
My characters have substance. My characters have back stories. My characters have motivations. My characters are passionate. My characters are you (what my imagination comes up with).
The people I don’t understand.
I write for me, to better understand you.
I write, because I need answers.
Because I’ll never get many of them, I create them.