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.