Along with all the good things about being a writer, there are a few that we’re not so fast to brag about to our friends and family. I’ve tried to list a few here.
1. First, there’s the “zone”. You know. That moment when your writing is smoking hot and nothing can stand between you and that Pulitzer Prize? When you’re completely engrossed in creativity of a divine nature so high in the planes of existence that you feel immortal? Okay, maybe that’s flourished-up a bit, but you get the drift, right? How you look and act to others is a different matter all together. To them you look “slightly out of it”. This is followed by, ‘Do you feel okay?’ and ‘Is everything all right?’, inevitably leading to the dangerous one, the one that you should avoid if at all possible: ‘Are you listening to me, dear?’
2. Time. Before you took up the task of covering writing media with words, time was pretty much a task master with specific lines, angles and rules. Day job? Arrive at 8, leave at 5. Movie? They’re scheduled for showing, so pick a time and don’t be late. Doctors appointment? 2 p.m. sharp! (plus one “not so sharp” hour while you wait for the doctor). But if you’ve truly taken up writing, truly committed yourself and jumped in with both feet, you’ll discover that “time”, for you at least, grows fuzzy, losing those lines, angles and rules. Appointments missed, trash not put out in time, missed the last showing of the movie you’ve waited months to see, and the list goes on and on.
3. Which leads me to that smell. My wife works outside the home. That said, I am left with the task of preparing certain foods over the course of the day. I’m good at getting it started. I’m just lousy at stopping it. (See 1 and 2 above.)
I mean, who can stop when they’ve got four injured/bleeding characters speeding to the hospital and one of them is about to lose her unborn baby, and perhaps her life, on the backseat of a half demolished minivan? Did I mention the fate of the world hangs on their success of failure? I’ve done countless mad dashes from my office to the kitchen once the smell of seared, burnt or flaming food has permeated my senses. Dangerous? Yes it is. Insane, actually.
I will have to find an alternative for this conflict of interest and necessity, but one thing is for sure: whatever the solution, it will not interfere with my Pulitzer Prize-winning work-in-progress.
Do you have quirks as a writer that go against the grain of the world around you?