Behind the keyboard: On being a writer

We writers, as a group, must be very strange to outsiders.

For one thing, we sometimes hear voices in our head. However, we sometimes call them our characters. We write down the things they say; the things they do; the things they think. We spend hours in the minds of these characters and spend many more exploring these worlds that we’ve created in our heads. We talk to them and sometimes make friends with them and even though we know that they only exist inside in our minds, we still think of them as real people that are very close to are hearts. Why is this the case?

This leads on to a much bigger question: why do we write at all?

What makes creating your own world – no matter how similar it is to the real world – so appealing? Perhaps it’s to do with the fact that you can control your world. Or maybe we get along better with our imaginary friends characters than we do with people in real life. Our characters are part of us, sometimes sharing our fears or our traits – or perhaps those of someone we (don’t) know well. The characters become our medium of expressing ourselves and our thoughts through their own issues, both external and internal. Author to character. Pen to paper.

Writing is managing one’s feelings; exploring oneself; entertaining oneself; all these things and so much more.

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5 Responses

  1. Shino says:

    There’s a lot of truth to this. One of my friends told me I use my characters to say the things I can’t say. For me, that’s what writing is. It’s breaking past all the anxiety that keeps me shut out from the world, and saying the things I can’t say.

  2. CowTheEagle says:

    I write for a variety of reasons.

    For one thing, I enjoy experimenting with certain things in studies of human nature and natural vs. thoughtful instinct.

    I also like to write because there’s a chance of profit that comes with publication.

    The main reason however, is because I like the poeticism of prose (even though I usually hate poetry). I like to write something that sounds very fluent and pleasing to be read aloud, then just looking at it, in-taking every detail of something that I created.

    The feeling of someone else reading your work and liking it is also motivation.

    To me, though, characters aren’t my friends. While they may contain part of my psyche since I endowed them with existence by my own means, but they aren’t voices in my head. They are MY voice, that I can specifically contort to suit any mode needed by the piece, be it a good guy, a bad guy, or a morally questionable figure.

    In my opinion, characters are tools to further your plot and your message. They are, I think, one of the the least important parts of your book, even though they are still very important to give an overall professionalism to your piece. I believe that it is the characters interactions, their collective humanity, that makes or breaks a book.

    I only express through writing what I would express through normal life. If I were to address issues I feel to frightened to address in real life, I would just be cheating myself of a fuller existence.

    Nice article, Blues, although it is not the same way for me.

    Just some thoughts.

  3. DukeOfWonderland says:

    Well, I write because the peace you feel after sth’s in black and white is inimitable.

  4. FLORA says:

    It is more like an escape to create your own characters then world.

  5. carbonCore says:

    I’m not a writer, and I don’t consider anybody a writer unless they sell their stories and use the money to pay the gas bill.

    I do, however, use writing to move past difficult issues in my life. It doesn’t work instantly, but over time, I find that writing about what bothers me makes that bother slowly go away.

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