I ask myself this question, usually when I’m tearing my hair out when I can’t make any progress, or I’ve lost my flash drive with over 300 pages of material on it. Talk about heart palpitations…
But there must be a reason, right? I have theories, who knows how accurate or valid any of them may be. At any rate, here come the theories:
- I have an active imagination: Yes, I do, yet I don’t think my imagination is very original. I mean, I come up with my own plot points, such as they are, my own characters (with help from friends sometimes). To reduce the stress for myself, I have accepted the widely held notion that there are no original stories, only ways of telling them. I’m not convinced that my way of telling is very original either, but that’s another matter. Still, to have a lot of material written and pick up a book that several of the basic characteristics of my main characters are already illustrated is disenhearteneing. I couldn’t read the book, I was so depressed. Of course, there are probably plenty of people/characters out there who are youngest children, the only girl, growing up on a farm or a rural setting, blah, blah, blah.
- I’m schizophrenic, and so am I!: Well, not really (that I know of) but I have a vigorous population of people inside my head that sometimes take turns demanding my attention, sometimes they clamor to speak all at once. Rayne is the most vocal of these, because I’ve known her the longest (Yes, I refer to these characters as if they are real people, because in many ways, they are real to me.). The established cast are the usual participants in my internal dialogue, but every once in awhile, a new character springs forth and demands some attention too. A war chief did this to me not long ago in Rayne’s grown-up story. There is a war and a battle to be fought and not much progress being made recording this event in my story. The war chief took matters into his own hands and has told me of a pre-battle ritual among his people and he invited Rayne and her friends to come along, maybe because he’s sure Rayne is a priestess. She can’t convince him otherwise, so she just humors him. And then there are times when two characters demand a little more… *ahem* intimate attention. A completely random pairing happened and a rather hot scene emerged. It may never make it into the finished product (if I *ever* finish), but the two of them were, shall we say, satisfied.
- I’m an only child: That may tie back into the imagination thing, but it’s true. I never really had imaginary friends that I thought were real, but I always played alone and talked to myself (my mental health status is outwardly stable… usually 😉 I use my commute time to speak dialogue aloud, cementing ideas and hearing the words out loud helps me make sure it sounds natural.
- I have to write, I just have to!: I started with fanfiction, old Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek, took it up again with the series form of Highlander and decided if people liked those stories, they might like stuff I wrote myself. I don’t know why I feel compelled sometimes to write, except it’s the only form of expression that I feel I have anything approaching skill, and sometimes, when I read someone else’s work, I despair of my own talent, or lack thereof. But regardless of whether I ever even send anything out in an attempt at publication, I will always write.
So, there it is. Maybe I am crazy. But I’m not skilled enough in any one area to make that my life’s passion. I’m decent at several things, competent in quite a few, but brilliant at anything? Not so much. But I keep trying.