Until recently, I’ve been a no-means-no type of person.
Well, except when it comes to cake. Or wine. Or when it comes to trapping cats in laundry baskets because, c’mon, that shit’s just hilarious.
But back to the no.
Now, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression that BY GOD THESE PLANS MUST NOT BE RUINED. It’s just that I hate having plans. I’d rather wing my free days. I hate commitment. I hate wearing pants. I hate exhausting the energy to plan stuff…and move around in some sort of movement-thingy-motion. I’d rather lie on my office floor and let that cat lick my eyelids. That’s a lot more fun than picking out window treatments.
[side note: when you’re choosing blinds and staring at window selections named "fudge truffle" and "tranquil tea" you’ll very soon want to strangle yourself with the pull-cord.]
I do like a set schedule. I like to come home during the week and do my thing. I like free weekends. And I realize I’m contradicting myself. But weekdays are for the ordinary and weekends are for me. That’s an apt summary. Now…this brings us to the writing bit. Sundays are my day to write. Try to ruin my carefully laid writing plans and I’ll cut you. This is one thing I stick to faithfully (not the cutting thing but the writing thing). I’ll cancel your birthday before I give up my writing day.
Okay, so now we get to the part where I become a better person or AKA: My point.
Lately, I’ve been trying to see things in a new light. If I have to do something or an opportunity creates itself, instead of moaning and whining, I’ll take it. For example, I’m not a fan of travelling for work. Sure, it’s fine. But I get homesick; I miss my husband and my cats and my writing schedule. But I can do it. And I do. When I’m there I rock it.
I use my travel to write disgusting blog posts. Travel’s the best part about all of this. Absorbing the atmosphere, learning the language, meeting new people. Whenever I travel I look at it as sweet, delicious knowledge.
Yet life isn’t always about travelling and sweet, sweet blow up penises. I’m a brave person but sometimes situations or persons I’m not familiar with can sometimes make me uncomfortable. Such is life. Bad stuff has happened. It happens to everyone. For myself, being able to think about it, take a step back, and put it to good use, makes me feel better about it, makes me feel in control. I can turn it into something positive.
For example, last week, I was followed to my car in broad daylight by a possibly shady character. I got courage of the not-liquid-but-I’ll-kick-your-ass-variety and warded it off, whatever it could have been. Nothing happened. But you know what they say about possibilities.
Anyway. The thing I took away from it was that I was angry. And that it scared me. Yet becasuse of that now I know a true physical and emotional reaction of a scary and hopefully isolated scenario. Did I want it to happen? No. And sure, I could write about this scenario without experiencing it but it happened. I now have the memory in this synaptic-firing brain. So I use it. I’ll log it away. I’ll pimp the shit out of it when I need to write and relate.
Now I’m not saying go out and slash some tires and get your ass tossed in jail. Although, think of the stories…
I’m just saying, every new/different/odd/(even) bad situation has potential. Use reverse psychology of the writerly variety. We’re voyeurs. We have to observe.
Put together your writer’s toolkit. I truly believe in the write-what you DON’T know notion (because imagination is fucking bliss) BUT experiencing the different and the abnormal can be a good thing too. The more experiences you have as a writer, the more authenticity you CAN give to your writing. You don’t have to. Hell, I wrote a story about a diver based on pure research and someone asked me if I dived in college. And yet the only diving experience I have is with bars.
I never dived in my life. I’m a poser. I LIED. But it worked, suckers. Imagination is a truly wonderful thing.
But so is living.
Lucky you get to choose both.