I am failing at NaNoWriMo worse than I failed algebra (I rocked pre-calc by the way, even though it's ten times harder. No idea how that happened). I write solely during church services. Oh, and waiting at the psychologist's office - for my sister, surprisingly enough. That's about once a week for maybe two hours tops. Not much writing gets done.
But, beautiful thing writing is, I still feel the effects of it. I'm not sure whether that's good or bad, as, well, you'll see.
So, since I can't say anything about my writing, outside of it going somewhere slower than a sloth, I have a list of things writing does. Some of these may just be me and my weirdness, but other things are pretty universal. Outside of occasional freaks who write simply because they are good at it and might as well be clipping their nails. By the way, those people are not humans. If you meet one - RUN, very far and pretty darn fast.
1.) It helps express emotions.
Writerly people either have a ton of emotions that are everywhere and everyone can tell what is going on because it is practically written across their faces or they hold it all in and seem to be a constant weird. I tend to be the latter one unless PMSing. Then, forget it, you know exactly how I feel.
Note that the latter kind of writer is not emotionless. We are not Bella Swan and walk around either looking like walls or we are about to barf.
Not us. Not in the least. We spaz at least.
Well, anyway, those emotions need to get out somehow - or in a healthy nonallovereverybodywithinreach way. Writing does that. Having a bad day? The character has a bad day or goes through something or the pen is suddenly on the verge of breaking through to the other page. And whenever the writing is over, it's all good. We don't have to pretend to be okay or go around stomping/crying everywhere.
2.) It gives us something to do in class or at the doctor's office or anywhere boring.
This is pretty much self-explanatory. But just in case you haven't been anywhere boring lately (I envy you. Please share how this is possible, maybe take my place at the doctor's office), sometimes, in life, things happen that have us sitting there not entirely sure what to do, our attention on nothing in particular, sleep seeming really exciting. But, suddenly add a pen and some paper and viola! Suddenly there is nowhere you would rather be. (This is a great way to get through class because it looks like insane note-taking, given a few pauses over possible grammatical errors or the name of a character, when the teacher sounds like he came from Charlie Brown's world.)
3.) Writing provides a fantastic way to scare people away.
This is something entirely optional, but if ever looking to scare someone away, just look to whatever story you are writing at the moment and I promise you, something can be found to gush over that will scare that annoying guy who keeps on smiling at you away. Perhaps it's a death you are absolutely torn over (begin crying and snotting everywhere if at all possible). This is considered abnormal because aren't we in control of who dies? So why do we get upset over character's deaths? (If this question is asked, feel free to glare and begin shouting at the top of your lungs). Or maybe you are absolutely ecstatic/very very mad over a romance. Either way, extreme feelings towards a romance and going on and on about how amazing/annoyingwhydidtheyhavetoenduptogether? can scare someone off.
My personal favorite is when a language being created is mentioned and then the language is used. That can be scary as heck. Or so various guys I scared away have said.
Seriously. It does. Those voices going around your head that just don't make any sense? Try writing them down. Suddenly there's a story and they are happy, and when the story is done, gone! Unless you beg them to stay that is. Some are just that loveable.
Writing really does help me with my sanity. I can tell when it's been too long since I sat down and wrote if things beginning making less sense and I'm depressed and angry and acting really weird. If I'm suddenly acting like five different people, chances are I need to write. And then I write and almost instantly am back to good ol' optimistic, freaking people out, bouncing off the walls me.
And, when stressed, instead of dealing with all the crap that can come from that, simply writing really eases the stress and is something productive. So instead of going insane from stress, writers try to write.
5.) Writing is a way to escape reality
Life sucks. Let's face it. There are bad people and the news is scary and Billy Graham is alive when we thought he died ten years ago (or maybe that's just me...?). And there's not much magic left to reach out to and grab ahold of. Even if you try to, someone is there saying it's not scientific and thus not real, you are insane. Sometimes it is enough to make the beautiful things fade away and you are left with a burnt biscuit that is glaring at you.
Writing helps us remember the good, helps us to see it in everyday life and situations. We give our characters hope and find we have it ourselves; it was just buried away somewhere deep. And even if the ending isn't a happy one, my goodness, something turned out alright. Things all worked out in there own sad, beautiful way.
To get to that place, we must first delve into another's reality and stop living our own lives. When we pick up the pen (or begin pounding on a laptop), it's like that moment when Lucy whisks the covering off the wardrobe. It's exciting, unsure, and the beginning of a journey, en escape from whatever war is happening in our own lives. We go on adventures and meet new people and help them. Sometimes we visit old friends and learn more about them. When we come back, it's as a new person it seems. And we are slightly better suited for reality. We come out of our wardrobe of words knowing that there is a certain magic in the unfairness of life.
6.) New Friends!
Really. I kid you not. Writing is pretty solitary for most people and writer's aren't always the best people persons. But when a writer meets another writer, there is something there that breaches awkwardness. Even if all they do is talk about their characters and how upsetting the characters are and the inksplots that may or may not look like a cow that appeared randomly on a leg, nothing can take the place of a writerly friend. It's fantastic.
And fun! So much fun! Having someone who shares your weird pains and fears that deal with beings that do not live in this reality is fantastic. At times it's as though that other person is a drug and you walk away from them high. You can scare people together! And learn each others' languages! Argue about what genre a story belongs in!
Writing does so much more, by the way. It's like peanuts. Thousands of uses and purposes. There are even people who claim to be allergic to it (those people we feel really sorry for. How can they live without writing??). And a whole ton of people take is for granted and dismiss it. Use it only for their sandwiches. Such a waste. But writing stands firm in its wonderfulness.
It's also hilarious at times....