Monday, August 3, 2009

How Has Writing Affected Your Life?

Lucky me, I get to start the blog chain this week!  And I think I will dig back into the reasons why we write (even when it gets hard).  I am interested to see everyone else's answers, since this is such an open-ended question.

Let me say this first: writing makes my life better.  This has to be a given, because if it weren't true, I wouldn't be writing.  I am selfish.  I do things that make me happy, and writing makes me happy.

Writing gives me discipline.  Is this true for you too?  When I started writing my novel, I knew it would be a lot of work, but I didn't expect it to change my lifestyle so drastically.  I treat it as I might treat a job.  It is (usually) part of my daily routine.  I have to set time aside so I can get it done.

Writing changes the way I think.  I think about my novel...all the time, actually.  This is going to sound awful, but when real life starts to get boring, I drift into the world of fiction.  I am always, always thinking about my MC's and their predicaments.  I think about them in the shower, while I'm eating, during really boring college lectures, right before I go to sleep, etc.  In this way, I can make my MC into myself.  For a first person novel, I have to be her.  You could say I live vicariously through her sometimes.  Her thoughts become my own.  Yeah, I know, go ahead and lock me in a psych ward now.

Writing changes the way I experience things.  Living daily life has become brand new, because I have to examine how I feel when I trip and fall onto my knees.  How can I describe the pain (yes, this is really the first thing that comes to mind when I hurt myself)?  How would I describe the weather today in less common terms?  When I run into medieval sword fighters (yes, this did happen one Sunday), I watch their movements and technique, so I can draw upon it later.  

Writing changes the way I read.  The sign of a good book has become, can I read this book without constantly studying the style and syntax?  If I lose myself in the book, it is officially good, because it has become very difficult to turn off the writer-editor part of me when reading. This is good for improving my own writing, but bad for when I just want to read the damn book on a comfy couch for fun.

So much of my life now revolves around those documents on Microsoft Word that it's hard to remember a time when it didn't.

So how has your life changed?

Monday: me

I am on the last leg.  The second draft needs to be done by August 14.


  1. It's safe to say I'm a little bit obsessed with it. I think about it all the time. Why I love it, hate it, how I can be better, why I'm not cut out for this at all, how I can change the world. That last one is pretty key.
    Obviously, I know I can't change the world but maybe I can change my MC's or somebody else's or even my own by what I write.
    Great question!

  2. I'm with you. Writing has made my life better. It has given me hope that I've finally found something that I love, something that I'm good at, something I can do just for me.

    Honestly, I can't imagine my life without it. I mean what did I do with all my time before? How boring I must have been!

  3. Wonderful points. I especially appreciate the way writing makes me take a closer look at myself and the world. :D