I Don’t See Dead People . . .

‘Dancing Ghosts’ by Swann1 at DeviantArt.com

. . . 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.

Happy Reading!


Posted by

Woman-Centered Fiction Writer, commenting on books, culture and the human condition.

8 thoughts on “I Don’t See Dead People . . .

  1. I cracked up reading your post because I can relate to being physical there but not “present” when something else has gripped you and you are so in tune that its coming out of your pores. There’s an impatience to get the other stuff out of the way as quickly as possible. It takes a tremendous amount of focus and conscious mental energy to do the other stuff that keeps interrupting your flow and that must be taken care of. Happy writing!

  2. I am so glad you said, ” I cannot plan to write” because as a new author I have been really feeling conflicted because I am unable to plan my writing. Writing for me is something that just happens, I sit down at times and it cranks itself out, but every time I say I’m going to carve out this special block of time ( for example 4p-6p) nothing and I mean nothing happens. In short, you saying that helped relive some of my anxiety. so thanks

    1. I’ve tried that as well – carving out time – and sometimes it works, but generally not which wreaks havoc on deadlines, whether they’re self-imposed or not. But then I might crank out 80 pages in 24 hours when the mood hits, so it’s a crapshoot. I think whatever works for you is the key honestly. I’m just coming to terms with the fact that no one will ever describe me as a “disciplined” writer. 🙂

  3. I could really relate to this. The irony of course is that I usually refer to that office job as “real life,” which tends to (wrongly) imply that the creative life just isn’t as important.

    1. I totally understand. I’m a little conflicted myself about which should have primacy. I vote for the writing life, but I may be kidding myself until ‘the writing life’ begins to pay all my bills. 🙂

Leave a Reply to niaforrester Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s