I am woman. Yeah, yeah. I am also writer. The writer aptitude kicked in only a short five years after birth. Whether by nature or nurture through my father's colorful storytelling, writing is part of my DNA. And now that I've been a writer for many decades, here are my top 11 reasons for loving it.
I get to make up stories about quirky people in bizarre situations and conversations that make me laugh. And, like Elizabeth Bennett, "I dearly love to laugh."
I get to say things through my characters about people's wrongdoings that I wish I had the presence and quickness of mind to say in real life at the very moment the wrongdoing occurs.
I get to immerse myself in new adventures and misadventures I might never get the chance to in real life. Who doesn't relish getting into hot water from time to time? We can't always be good girls, can we? Especially when we can so easily control the outcome.
I can go anywhere. The world is my jalapeno popper. With a little research, some great camera shots, or a practiced imagination, I can hop a trundling train to Hungary during World War I or sail the stormy South Pacific with a swashbuckler on a pirate ship. All I need is a story in which to fit my sojourns, and I'm sort of on vacation.
I get to form tight bonds of friendships and relationships, and out of that sometimes I even get to fantasize sex scenes. Of course, it's much more clinical when you're writing it—the right arm goes here, the left boob goes there… But the end result is fun.
I get the chance to work out life's little complexities, uncovering the right words with the right nuances that give me those revealing "ah-has!" And for some time afterward, I'm happy to tell everyone that I'm quite the smarty-pants.
I get to figure out what motivates people to behave in ways others might not understand, and then dole out the reasons bit by bit through my characters' actions, personalities, and deep, dark, haunting secrets.
I get to fool people into thinking the story is going one direction and surprise them when I lead them through a doorway they weren't expecting. BOO!
I get to experience every range of my characters' emotions, from titillation to pain, joy to sorrow, excitement to dread. Not surprisingly, I always loved the teeter-totter when I was a kid.
I get to be immersed in a new romance: first flirts, first dates, first kisses, and first sex. It's actually my job to kiss and tell.
I am in charge. Whether my characters live or die is entirely dependent on me. From a character's appearance to his words and actions, I am the unequivocal Queen of the Universe. This is why you always want to be kind to a writer. You never know when you will end up in her story, dead.
And, I get to leave my desk after a productive writing session with a huge sense of accomplishment, especially after I've been "in flow" and the words pour out of my fingers. I like it so well, I'm going to do it again tomorrow.