What they’ll never understand!

I believe everyone is gifted. Some have a head for numbers, some for science and some for business. There are those who are good at dealing with the public and those who create something out of nothing.   I suck at math, science is something fun to read and cooperate America just isn’t something I’m interested in. I can’t really speak to those other things.

As an artist I live in my head. My imagination is my most important skill and the ability to pluck a story out of think air is a specialty. Every writers process is as different as our life experiences. There is no one “right” way to our craft. They are as varied as the people who write.

Some writers are meticulous, they use outlines, time tables. Exact and purposeful with their time and how and what they write. Others like myself are pansters. I may have a loose timeline that is flexible or I may have nothing to go on but the page in front of me. To a detailed person, the way I write may be hellish but it works for me.

Anyone who doesn’t write, probably will never understand the process many of us go through. They don’t understand why we do the things we do, why we think the way we think and how we get to where we need to go. Writers often face harsh judgement from those who don’t do it but have plenty to say about writing. I used to get pissed or hurt when I would run across someone who had no experience with writing, could never fathom putting words to paper and tell about something new and hopefully entertaining but have no problem telling you how much you suck at writing.

An author’s world is filled with critics and naysayers. They have no understanding what it’s like to sit down and write. Yet they are quick with what they consider is wrong with you. I’m not referring to reviewers. I’m only talking about those who love to sit in judgement of anything or anyone they don’t understand.

You can’t explain to someone what it’s like to have a character come alive in your mind. To see not only what they look like but to feel what’s in their soul. There is nothing quite as satisfying as bringing to  life what is only in your imagination.

Dr. Suess is one of the best examples I can think of.  Who could imagine the stories and characters that the beloved author came up with during his life time. Hell, I can still quote most of Green Eggs and Ham. I used to read it to my twins kindergarten class because the kids loved to hear about the characters increasing frustration and refusal to try the tasty food being offered to him. We’d get dramatic and louder with each denial of trying the green eggs. By the end of the book there were 25, five yr olds laughing and rolling around on the floor as the story came to an end. I loved reading to those kids because they reminded me the power of words. The stories weren’t written for deep thinkers. They were merely simple ideas presented in an entertaining way and it was easy to reel them in as they watched the pages turn.

Often as writers, we can get caught up in everything but the story itself. Self-doubt, outside influences, the daily grind, all of it can pull you out of your story. Learning to let all the bullshit go is a hard thing to learn for some people. It’s taken me a very long time to push the opinions of outsiders out of my head.

I’ve learned to ignore the critics from the outside and in my own head. Expelling others opinions can be hard but once you learn how to do it, your mind will open again and your characters will come to life.

We can’t expect people who don’t live the life of a writer to ever understand because they can’t and they never will. The best part is that is doesn’t matter. You don’t have to ever justify what you do or how you do it. Your words belong to you. It’s easy to criticize what you don’t know, even if you think you do and that makes it much easier for an author to take those negative opinions and toss them into the trash.

Clear you head, don’t apologize for your words and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.




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