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Inner Life of the Writer

Guest Blog by Regina Puckett explores the fact that writers don’t live in the same world with anyone else, not even friends or family.

How hard can it be to write a blog? For me, it has been an extremely difficult task. Several half-written paragraphs disappeared into the mysterious world where these deleted, unfinished ideas are doomed to go. Finally after so many failed attempts, I called it a night and went to bed.

Regina Puckett

I couldn’t believe so much head scratching and pondering had left me with nothing accomplished. I tried not to be depressed about failing, but I still tossed and turned for quite a while before I realized what my problem was. I was trying to write about me. I never write about me.

I usually write sweet stories about people falling in love or tales of horror where someone is trying to hack someone else to death. Of course I have written those mandatory bios needed for the back of my books, but I have never tried writing anything about my personal life besides the superficial. There’s a really good reason for that.

I’m boring.

While there are people out there who are actually living their lives to the fullest, most of my life takes place inside my own head. Don’t get me wrong. I have a life. I have friends and family who love me, and I love them. The problem is that even when I’m with them, I am never completely with them. About three minutes into each and every conversation, my mind usually takes a detour. It doesn’t matter how interesting these conversations are, while I may be nodding and smiling, I’m not there.

I go where I feel the safest – to be with my characters.

I love writing because I can make people do and say exactly what I want them to. I can actually put words in someone else’s mouth without getting slugged. My real world conversations seldom go as I think they should, and so I write to create my own worlds.

While my good guys may make mistakes, they never do so out of spite or for revenge. I know what to expect from my characters because I’m the one who created them. Of course, now you’re thinking that I must have a God complex or something.

I don’t want everyone to do and say exactly what I want them to, but it would be nice ever so often to know what to expect out of people. That way I could be prepared. Then I would be ready with a clever retort or actually pretend to be what I’m doing for once.

I guess that – to break it down to its simplest form – I am socially inept. When I’m writing, I can write and rewrite until it’s perfect. You just don’t get that same opportunity in real life. A couple of times each day I manage to say the very thing I shouldn’t. I can always tell from the look on the other person’s face that he or she is thinking I’m stupid, and quite honestly, about this time, I am feeling fairly stupid. The funny thing is that, in my own head, I’m witty and outrageously charming.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had the privilege to meet fellow author and his lovely wife, James and Penny Paddock. It was a wonderful couple of hours. James and I discussed writing, and Jerry and Penny talked about living with a writer.

For some reason, I never considered how difficult it must be for my husband to live with me. If you remember, in my mind, I’m just this charming and witty person. The truth is, I’m far from either. For forty years, I have only listened with half an ear to his conversations. Most people only had to deal with me a few hours each day at the most, but poor Jerry has to actually come home to this person who never fully listens to anything. Maybe he finds the smiling and nodding charming, or maybe he’s just used to it by now. I would like to say that I’m going to try and pay closer attention in the future, but quite honestly, I don’t know if that is even possible.

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  • http://www.maryannwrites.com/ Maryann

    Boy do I ever relate to this. So glad my husband does not read blogs. LOL

  • Caleb Pirtle

    Maryann: You need to let him read Regina’s blog so he knows he’s not the only forgotten spouse in the country.

  • Reginadee

    I think it may be a fairly common thing in every writer’s household.

  • http://www.authorhollyrobinson.com/ Holly Robinson

    Regina, I loved this post, especially the last bit. It made me remember a time when my husband and I, then newly married, went out to dinner and saw a couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. “What’s your secret?” I asked the husband as the wife went off to the ladies’ room. “I tune her out a lot,” he admitted. I think it’s actually a pretty good thing that we can all have mysterious lives…keeps us unknowable. What would be more boring than knowing someone else’s every thought?

    • Reginadee

      We should last forever then, because I never listen to a word he says. I do try to every now and then, but it never works. There’s no hope for me.

  • http://twitter.com/onisha Onisha Ellis

    Every group needs a person like you. You keep the office from being boring and your family on their toes. They never know what may come out. How do I know? I’m the same way. It’s a gift we just have to live with. As for the smiling and nodding, great practice for old ade when the hearing goes and you have to pretend. Once again, you are ahead of your time.

    • Reginadee

      I knew I was practicing for a reason. I like the way you think.