I’m someone who can sit for hours people watching. See that guy? His name is Eduardo. Eduardo keeps studying his watch, his bushy brows knitted together. He pulls out his cell phone, punches a few buttons and scowls before jamming it back into his pocket. Is he a Federal Agent? - a hit man? Or maybe I notice a giant truck driven by a very old woman wearing a knitted cap. When she sees me looking at her, she veers down the first side street. Is she in disguise? Or has an injured criminal forced her to drive his getaway vehicle?
My imagination has driven me nuts for most of my life. I found early on, if I wrote down the silly notions that entered my head, the fog would lift and I could feel normal. For a while at least. But later in life as a full-time mom, wife and employee, I didn’t have time to doodle in notebooks. So I stowed away my ramblings hoping the stories bred from every day living would leave me be. It was pointless. With age the problem worsened. Characters now found me, whispering in my ear in the dead of night.
Sound familiar? Perhaps this is why most writers like other writers. We understand poor eye contact, spaced-out looks and seemingly short attention spans. We know if another writer has drool dribbling down their chin they aren’t having a seizure. They’re probably just riding a giant winged-horse in a sky with two suns.
There is a simple solution that will help a writer stay focused. Write! Give those pesky characters their voice. Give up TV, sleep and talking on the telephone. For me, I started cutting coupons, feeding my family beanie-weenie and went part-time. Okay. So I’m fortunate that my husband isn’t a picky eater. But the bottom line is a writer must write. This isn’t a curse but a rare gift. Embrace your Eduardos knowing most people will see only a Bob.