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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Growth As a Writer, or As a Person?

As a kid growing up watching Star Trek, I have to admit that Mr. Spock was the character I could most relate to. Captain Kirk and Bones, the doctor? Nah, way too excitable. I understood Spock's way of thinking; That response doesn't adhere to logic or reason. You must analyze the situation further. Add cynicism to that mix, and you have - me. (And, yes, I DID grow up in Vulcan, Alberta.)

Emotionally stunted? Me? Probably. Growing up, I preferred to hang with the guys; girls got too worked up over every little thing. Half the time, I couldn't figure out what I had done to tick off one or the other of my girlfriends; no one spelled it out for me. I was just 'supposed to knoNeedless to say, I'm not an emotionally demonstrative person. It's not that I don't care; I just don't show it. Even my characters that I've created spend a lot of time and energy avoiding emotional situations. But of course, in writing about their growth, I need to get into that mindset. Emotional issues are what make us care about characters; how they affect the characters and the reader.
Now, imagine Mrs. Spock, sitting at the computer, tears streaming down her face as she writes the post-climactic scene to her YA novel. (At least THAT was in the privacy of my office.)
Again, imagine same Mrs. Spock on the family holiday, and at seeing all four of her daughters (and one of their boyfriends) pile into a vehicle to head home a few days early, suddenly out of the blue, burst into tears, sobbing. More than just the jaws of the five passengers dropped. I scared everyone, including my husband. And myself. I had allowed myself to feel fear and uncertainty.
One good thing came out of it; my heavy-footed daughter took extra time driving the usually three hour trip, and her sisters texted me every half-hour to let me know they were still alive.
So, I'm thinking, this writing journey might actually help me to become human, eventually:0)

How has your writing journey affected your life?


Hello. My name is Elizabeth. said...

Writers are, first and foremost, people. Maybe not the best people, but people just the same. I don't think it's possible to grow as one and not as the other. The two seem to go hand in hand.

For what it's worth, I did a character profile worksheet on myself one day, and realized my true motivations were vastly different from my "true" ones. Knowing that - and knowing I didn't know that - allowed me to add another dimension to one of my characters and her inner conflict. Plus, I got to sort some crap out for myself. ;-)

Suzanne Casamento said...

As I write, I'm always realizing things about myself. Little things pop up in manuscripts that are derived from real life and I suddenly realize how those events really impacted me. It's weird but theraputic.

I love Elizabeth's idea of doing a character worksheet on herself. Although I think I'm too scared to do it.

No need to become THAT human. ;)

Laura Eno said...

Are you and I twins?? Wow, I could have written the same post about myself.

Writing has helped me express my emotions through my characters...but I still prefer to hang with the boys. :)

DLCurran said...

I'm more emotional than not - though I'm usually able to keep a handle on it. Unfortunately, every once in a long while I don't keep that handle on it and I regret it for days. ~sigh~ Keep working at it, I guess. Great post Cinette. As always. :)

Janet Johnson said...

I feel that my writing is currently taking over my life. But at least I recognize the early warning signs. Right?

Bethany Mattingly said...

I think my life has been affected by my writing because of how much I put my life emotions into my writing. I don't write them in the same circumstances, but the gut of the emotion is the same. I think it helps me to "breathe" more and process things in my life.

AchingHope said...

My writing life has definitely affected my personality. Writing helps me figure out a situation and the possible ways to react in any given situation. Okay... Maybe I made it sound really boring... But I always think a little bit of myself gets lodged into my characters, and a little bit of them gets stuck in me.

Jolene Perry said...

I'm totally Kirk - except for all the chasing women. I jump in with both feet and then wonder what I got myself into when I'm there.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I think I'm finally coming of age . . . at least I should be with all the YA books I've been reading. ;)

T.J. Carson said...

Wow you sound just like me. Skip the drama and just live a chill life. I tend to get along better with guys than most girls too, but have a couple close friends that I can relate to and talk to. I always find it hard to write drama too, because I avoid it. I've actually "broken up" with friends because they always have drama and feel the need to share it with me. I've found humorous drama to be the key to writing decent pages.

Cinette said...

Thanks for dropping in, ladies!
Elizabeth -I'm too afraid to do a character profile sheet on myself. I'm not sure I want to know the truth!
Suzanne - Funny how writing about fictional people helps us learn something about ourselves:v)
Laura - Letting 'someone else' express my emotions is my first choice;0)
Deb - Today's a new day. Don't beat yourself up!
Janet - Blogging has taken over my life lately. Don't know what to do about it, though...
Bethany - Writing is often therapy for me:0)
AchingHope -I find I'm learning from my characters who are reactive. I used to be a people-pleaser. Now, not so much.
Jolene - I feel sorry for you;v) Yet somehow jealous...I'll have to analyze this further.
Stina - I'm still waiting to hit maturity:0P
T.J. - I avoid drama as much as possible. I have a stack of bad jokes to use to add levity or simply confuse the heck out of everyone:-)

Saumya said...

Writing and life are so inextricably linked! The more I learn about my characters, the more I learn about myself. I always tell people that there is so much psychology to writing and I am grateful that it provides me with so much :)

Excited to be a new follower!

Robyn Campbell said...

Human! I love it. :) And I hung with the guys, too. The girls were always so dang prissy.

So here's hoping it makes me human, someday. Nice post. :)

Swegan said...

i think what happens with my writing affecting me is that i try too hard to make real life like a book and it NEVER EVER WORKS OUT THAT WAY. in the end of the book, they always get everything they wanted and the cute guy, even after a whole lotta crap. but, there's never a whole lotta crap in my life, and i never get the cute guy (well... not really.) and then i realize real life is vastly different from writing and just go back to losing myself in books (mine or someone else's, doesn't matter.)
i don't get how you could hang with the guys, though. maybe they were better before, but now? horribly perverted. i could not be around that 24/7.

Cinette said...

I often wish that life was like books. I think that's why we all get lost in books; it all works out in the end, but in life, things rarely work out like we want them to.