I have been doing research form a story involving a dream world. In my research, I moseyed into the works of Carl Jung. I won’t bore you with the details, although I really thought they were interesting. What I found incredibly interesting was his explanation of writers. Writers are an extension of the childhood fantasy.
I found that interesting because my childhood was filled with
elaborate play times. I was never a Barbie person, but I loved My Littlest Pet
Shop. I had houses with lights. I had miniature furniture. They had leaders and
couples and kids. I actually don’t remember much of the “reality” of my
childhood. I think that’s because I spent most of my time in fantasy. I could
spend the entire day locked in my room following the stories of my figures. It
really shouldn’t have been a surprise when I started writing.
However, I think to say that writers are just those who
extend this ability to fantasize is too simplistic. I often describe the
difference as writer’s think different. I saw a picture floating around Facebook
last week. It showed the same cracked door in double pictures side by side. On
the left, it said a normal reaction: oh, look
the door is ajar. How weird. On the right was an elaborate thought process
that begins with the open door and ends with some murderous burglar hiding
inside. Or, just yesterday morning, I was coming down a hill into a city and saw a fog lifting...although I immediately envisioned an entire town on fire.
I am totally like that. I can turn
any situation and manipulate it into a mountain. Besides the paranoid, I also
do this in other areas of life. Before a presentation, I might go through
countless scenarios of how it could go, what would be the others responses, and
how I would react.
But I also interpret ordinary
things differently. My mom loves to tell the story of how I used to say “please
lock my shoes” instead of “buckle my shoes.” I viewed it different…and I still
say locking makes sense. I can still switch words like that. It might not be as
blatantly wrong, but my editors are life savers for the subtly different.
I am a thinker. In fact, the only time my mind is not “moving”
is when I’m reading, talking, or sleeping. Any other time, I am thinking. I
think about life. I think about the colors before me. I think about stories. I
think about motivations and goals of real people—like they are characters. I
think and think and think. In fact, I thought of this blog post while changing
the sheets on my bed.
But that is probably a necessity in the writing world. If I wasn’t
a thinker, then I couldn’t figure out what to write. Plots wouldn’t develop and
characters wouldn’t form. It is the ponderings that nurture a story.
I always knew I was different. I spent a lot of time trying
to fight it. But I think we need to embrace these differences. I could not
write without them. So, in short, I am an extension of childhood, quirky,
weird, and an over thinker…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.