. . . but I do hear people who aren’t alive except in my imagination. Last night, even as I slept, I was listening to Darren and Paige, Trey and Shayla, characters in my current work in progress, The Art of Endings. Each of them spoke to me in their own unique voices, telling me what they’re about and where they want to go. Inspired by questions from M.J. Kane, author of A Heart Not Easily Broken, I recently had to think about my writing “process” – the rituals, or lack thereof that help me write. And I had to articulate what I guess I’ve always known – that I can’t plan what I am going to write, I can only make the time and the space for the writing to happen.
After a very brief hiatus between December 23 and the new year, I realized that no matter what, these characters would not shut up until I wrote the continuation of their stories. So I launched right in, not doing as much writing as listening, making notes about them, their wants, their fears, their hopes and their troubles. I carry with me always a small leather-bound notebook in which I write these notes, small enough that I can whip it out no matter where I am, and now it’s brimming with information. Right now my thoughts about them are racing so fast that I cannot keep up, nor can I get a full night’s sleep. So I’m back at it again, sitting in front of my laptop, channeling the voices and it’s the most amazing feeling in the world, almost like a mania . . . so in between note-taking, I am on social media, blogging, and chewing gum, anything to get rid of this excess energy.
Today I have several so-called “important meetings” out in the world in my other life. But the funny thing is, they don’t feel so “important” when compared to my real life, the writing life. I watch the “real world” and participate in it (somewhat), giving appropriate responses to questions, and sometimes even managing to contribute an original thought. But I am not there. I’m with the people I cannot see, but who are not dead. To me right now they are more alive than anyone else in the known world.