Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Ideal Writing Self

Fiona Sampson asked a small group of us yesterday to write about our ideal writing selves, whatever that may mean to us. I guess many writers have this fantasy where we live in the mountains, away from responsibilities and distractions and write for hours on end until our manuscript emerges, perfect. The writer also emerges, probably smelling gross. I've often thought about this idea, and decided to post my thoughts on it.

The thing is, I already am my true writing self. That person--she is me. I work when I can because life requires a lot of attention. I'm a linguist, a barbershop quartet singer, a best friend, a sister and a daughter. I don't have time to write for eight hours a day, and I wouldn't even if I had it. I love writing, though. Rae Taylor, Diesel Soaring, Carolina Marlborough, Gideon Strong, Satoru--these characters have secrets worth uncovering. But even at the most writerly, the most focused on my pen, I remain a linguist, a singer, a daughter, friend and sister. These do not change. How could they?

So I'll make myself some tea, bring my laptop to the group table in the dorm (or window ledge at the cafe or my lap on a train) and write. Because I love it. Because Diesel needs to get over the addiction, because Gideon has to fall in love, Rae must become and overcome her secret past, and Satoru--like all villains--must meet his end.

The ideal persona is the one you put on everyday and make.

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