Tuesday, January 12, 2010

They're coming to take me away ... ha ha!

When I first read this topic, I didn’t know what approach I wanted to take with it. (Still don’t have it all worked out). So I am doing a thought exercise where I just write what comes to me. (You might not notice any difference between this and my normal posts). Also, keep in mind classes just started back up for me, so my mind has taken a sabbatical for a while. *smiles*

I’ve come to the conclusion that we (writers) have to be out of our ever-loving minds. Not that we mind, but there it is.

“They're coming to take me away Ha ha … To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time.”

Looking at Devon’s list, which overwhelms me just looking at it, and knowing some of the authors that I do, we are all nuts to do this to ourselves. So many writers I know are not lucky enough to have it be their full-time job, so they are working, caring for their families/pets/friends, doing who knows what else, and in what little free time they have, they write.

I am the same way, although I don’t go to the level that some I know do, giving up sleep to stay up and write. Not because I don’t want to, but because I simply can’t – I turn into a completely different person without enough sleep, someone that no one wants to meet in a well lit room, let alone a dark alley. Simply put, I turn into a b*tch. Hello evil twin! So my family has that line that we just don’t cross.

My own insanity lies with the fact that in addition to family and all my other commitments, I am in college. Being a non-traditional student sucks. Trying to be a non-traditional student and write as well? Doesn’t always work out so well. School drains the creativity out of me, except the night before a big exam. Then I am creative as all get out, just brimming with ideas and needing to write.

How does this relate to the topic, you might be wondering at this point? Well … being a writer takes commitment. All too often in interviews we are asked the same questions over, and over, and over, and over (see my drift), and over again (I LOVE the interviews that are different!) and one of the main questions asked – “what advise can you offer to aspiring writers?”

Stick with it …

Don’t give up your dream …

Try, and try, and try again ….

What it all boils down to is commitment. If you want to be a writer, and have at least a modicum of success, you have to understand and be willing to make the commitment.

I truly think outside of marriage, and having children, being a writer is one of the biggest commitments a person could make. And unlike the others, you are making a commitment to more than just one or a few people – you are making it to dozens, potentially hundreds; your editors, readers, cover artists, readers, publisher staff, readers, publicity staff, and hopefully even more readers. All of them are expecting you to be more than a one hit wonder.

It completely boggles the mind just how many people you are saying to “Hey, I’m doing this and I am going to stick with it. You give me a chance and I won’t let you down.”

Yep, we all must be nuts. Especially when you look at characters who “talk to us”, aka we hear voices, and we get lost in our own worlds, or we hallucinate. *smiles* But, the company is good, and really, we get to share the worlds in our minds with anyone who cares to journey to them. Sometimes we even get paid for it!

So the commitment is worth the insanity, which could potentially lead to another form of commitment. *smiles*

Stylish!

And on that note, I leave you with more Dr. Demento:
“They're coming to take me away Hoho hehe haha!
To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time,
and I'll be happy to see those nice young men
in their clean white coats
and they're coming to take me away haha!!”



8 comments:

  1. Hahaha! Right now, my right ear is clogged, so I can 'hear' myself clearly whenever I speak (sort of like talking while wearing earmuffs??), and I happened to mention this to the SU. He smiled and said 'Are you hearing voices again? Do we need to call the men in white coats, or are these the voices you hear while at the computer?'

    Ha ha. Veeeerrrry funny. Although....two weeks with the men in white...no kids...no hubby...give me a pen, paper, or a laptop and I'm there!!

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  2. We could all be locked up for what we're thinking sometimes!

    Secretia

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  3. hi Michelle

    What you say here is very similar to Stephen King's take on writing. Its a controlled form of insanity, and the only way to become good is to keep at it.

    Chuck Jones, the director of most of the Warner Brothers Bugs Bunny cartoons in the fifties, used to teach animation classes in college. he would tell his students "You have a pile of excellent cartoons inside you, but your problem will be that they are buried under a much bigger pile of bad cartoons. The only way to get at the good ones is to start digging your way down to them."

    Garce

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  4. I guess it's a good thing I live near Eastern State, huh?

    Yes, it is insanity, but so is the alternative. Our way is just a much more pleasant form of madness, don't you think?

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  5. Hello, Michelle,

    I remember that song from my elementary school years...Now I won't be able to get it out of my head.

    I do think you're right. I especially like your observation that we writers are making a commitment to multitudes (okay, maybe SMALL multitudes!) of readers, not just to one or two people.

    I do wonder sometimes about OVER-commitment. Maybe we commit to too many things and people (definitely sounds like Devon might have this problem). Maybe someone will take up this topic later this week.

    Oh, and I really admire you for going back to school. I think that later you will be glad that you did, regardless of how much it sucks now.

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

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  6. Hey all. : ) Just now at a point where I could read and respond to your comments. Classes were fun yesterday - not! LOL

    Kenzie - I love having a husband who writes because I can sit and talk about the voices without him freaking. LOL He'll ask me occasionally, "now they aren't asking you to hurt yourself or others right?" Jerk : )

    I have a friend who does a week vacation twice a year in a cabin, no internet, no phone, nothing but writing and fishing. He comes back invigorated and relaxed. I am hoping to eventually get to where I can do that myself.

    Secretia - I know some of that I am thinking ought to be illegal, but until it is, I shall savor the freedom. : )

    Garce - You and one of my professors muct have Bugs on the brain. : ) I quite agree with the comment though. I know I Have a lot of crappy stories in me, and an occasional good ones. I just need to slog through the crappy ones to get to where I can write the gems.

    Helen - Indeed, I would be committed if I didn't write. I also would be a lot less plesant. LOL

    Lisabet - I do struggle with the overcommittment myself, which is why I try so very hard not to get backed in to deadlines. I have enough in classes.

    Right now I have two professors pushing me to submit for publication one of the lessons I worked up. I am really not in any hurry to do so, but I am looking at it for this summer.

    And thanks. I am really glad to be in school, working towards another of my dreams. : ) But I sure could use all the support I can get this semester; one of my classes is going to be a killer.

    Michelle

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  7. Michelle,

    I think the picture of the straitjacket looks wonderful. I know it's only January but I've already decided what's going on the top of my Xmas list for next year :-)

    Great post, as always,

    Ash

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  8. Ash - LOL Some days I wouldn't mind having one myself. But I am not so sure I would use it on myself. : )

    Michelle

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