Sunday, August 28, 2016

On Writing

I've always lived life a little too much in my own head. One of my college roommates affectionately called me "Jess Head" because there's a whole crazy world up there no one sees. I think for the majority of my life I considered this a curse beyond cure. I've tried to medicate it away, sleep it away, read it away. Perhaps, if I read enough books on the subject I could cure myself. Therapists refused to see the plague of this mental incapacity. Arrogant others would say "it was a gift." I don't know about that, but the affliction is my own. I remember reading Sylvia Plath's journal thinking "great, I'm gonna end up in an oven." But, with time I started to find some authors I admired that hadn't offed themselves. Anais Nin's journals were like reading my own thoughts. She felt, dreamt, and lived differently than others, at least she thought she did. An abnormality, eccentric, or whatever word she conjured up in other's mind, she embraced.

So, I suppose my temperament or mental instability like so many before me led me to writing. I feel more sane when I do it and it's cheaper than therapy. I like that the atrocities we experience or incur upon others came be given different ends. So, obviously I prefer fiction to any other genre. I can give a voice to the characters in life I admire on the page. I've never been very good at explaining what I feel with any accuracy, but I can put it to the page and it rings true.

I suppose the biggest lesson that I've learned from the characters of life and on paper is that a good character is a dynamic character. A character who is capable of change. The Pollyanna in me believes that we all can. I've seen it in life and at times I see it in myself. I believe that the rain will stop and that dark cloud will move away. It has to, doesn't it? I believe in second chances and happy endings, despite my pretense at times. I believe that in the right light life can be truly beautiful if you let it. I believe that love can last a lifetime and that there is someone out there that speaks your own language of crazy and to quote a friend of mine "whose broken pieces match up with our own." We just have to get out of our own way and not overthink it. But, then again what do I know ? I'm in the crazy world of my head.