Writing is my mania. It's the way I live inside my head. I don't just compose stories, I create characters, their lives and the worlds they live in. When I write I'm sharing the world inside my mind that no one else sees or hears when I'm away from my keyboard. In a way that's terrifying, for both myself and my reader. But writing is my mania and I must do it.
I don't often tell others but there is a whole world inside my head. Characters, friends really, that live in there and occasionally they clamor to get out, to have their story told. They've sometimes been inspired by a character I've met in fiction, but not always. And even when they have been I often nurture them into finding their own identity just like I have with my children. Once they've become independent I can set them free to live their lives.
When their independent living beings I can share their lives with them, learn their stories, and help them through their struggles as they learn to grow and heal. They're very real to me. I will often catch myself talking to them while I do the dishes or cook and hope my family hasn't overheard me. I wonder, would they think I'm crazier than I've let on or would they just nod their heads and say 'she's at it again'? I don't know. Now and then I lie in bed during the night talking to them, hoping I remember not to talk out loud and wake my husband.
As I get to know them I get to know their reality. I can't be bothered with trying to fit them into my own world, it's far too narrow-minded for them anyway, so I create their own for them. Mostly it's the modern world that they fit into, but occasionally I've chosen an older one, rarely it's otherworldly, sci-fi or fantasy aren't my strengths, I'm far too inconsistent for them. Sometimes I want to move into that world with them. Does that make me crazy or creative?
Does this frighten you? It frightens me sometimes. Why? For myself it's because when I write I'm sharing an intimate part of myself, my thoughts, that I wouldn't ordinarily share. I'm making myself vulnerable by letting the world know what's trapped inside my head. For my reader it's because they are choosing to enter that world and possibly be sucked into the madness that lurks there. They may come to love or hate my friends, ahem characters, as much as I do. The story may not be enough for them as it often isn't for even me.
Consider this your disclaimer. I apologize in advance for any madness that results from reading my creations. I can only offer you this warning and tell you that I take no responsibility for your sanity, I can barely hang onto my own.
Writing is my mania. Why do I say that? Because I write what's in my head. When you read my stories I'm telling you about my friends and their aspirations and struggles. When they've shouted to get out and have their story told I can't tell them no. I just have to type. Writing is my mania and I wouldn't have it any other way.