Sunday, August 15, 2010

Afflictions That Bug Me

Most writers develop crazy and/or unexpected afflictions, bugs and glitches. Insomnia. Coffee Addiction. Procrastination. High blood pressure. Self Doubt. Neck and back kinks. Here are some maladies I’ve developed since deciding to start a writing career.

Typing Dyslexia. My ideas formulate much faster than I can type. I know, I know. You’ve never heard of TD cuz right now it’s not recognized by medical and educational pros, but I'm working on that. I do have it for real. While I know how to spell, more often than not, I type letters all out of sequence, like earlier, broken was robken, and even worse, callings was cassling. See? Way off. Not even close. I never used to have this problem when I worked in advertising, typing up newsletters, brochures or whatever. Since I‘ve been writing larger works, I’ve acquired not just fumbly fingers but a muddy brain. TD keeps me moving at a moderate pace and I can't fly according to my super sonic preference.

Skepticism. In needing to research things so much for long fiction and examine human behavior, I now view the world, its inhabitants and events in broader and deeper terms and have become skeptical of politicians, the media and propagated information. On the flip side, as a reader I have no problem suspending disbelief for fiction when it's well-written.

Hunger. No. Not for Doritos or chocolate, though in all honesty, that could apply too. My bigger hunger is for inspiration. I’m a gathering junkie. I cannot be somewhere, church, the mall, Six Flags or Walmart without thinking about how things I observe could apply to my writing. Everywhere I go, I see people who would make good characters or I hear bits of dialogue that fascinate me. I went to the beach last week with my family, and as I was sitting on the blanket with my daughter, I was people watching and wishing I’d brought a pen. I can't even relax for one afternoon. I read news articles with the specific purpose of finding tidbits. I’m never sure how and where I will use such pieces, but I like to jot them down in my Xany Files for future use.

Eloquence. I’m a total Word Nerd. I love words. I love building my vocabulary and learning new jewels. But glitzier words are not always appropriate to use when you‘re writing. So I’m always battling to make my work fresh and zingy yet simplified at the same time. For one of my POV characters, I wanted to create a more ominous tone and he’s super intelligent, so I allowed myself to use meatier words in the narrative, but usually I have to keep them hidden in my pocket with the lint balls and gum wrappers.

Tossing-Turning Syndrome. When I'm really inspired or under pressure, I have what I call working dreams. I think that's a lucid dream, where I'm sleeping and know I'm sleeping and dreaming. Anyway, somehow I decide to work while I'm sleeping. In my delusional brain, I actually feel excited that I'm making good use of my time and being productive while sleeping. I end of flopping around like a dying fish all night. I think I'm so brilliant until I wake up in the morning exhausted, feeling as though I never slept.

I’m sure I have many other ailments, but those are my big ones. If you’re a writer, have you come down with sneezes and sniffles? If so, what?

Curiosity. That’s another one of my bugs, but I’ve had that since childhood, so it doesn’t actually count.

Write on. Rock on. Be blessed and inspired.

~Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

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