How my analysis of daily life helps me to discover plot and character traits.
Lately, my own personality quirks have afflicted me. How can I be the practical, rational, and organized working woman/mother/friend/wife while also being the creative, expressive, unique writer? I have stewed for weeks about how I will ever find a rhythm between my daily life and my writing journey. How and when can I express myself accordingly. Who cares? Who is my audience really?
To some people, my life is a fascinating journey of perseverance and overcoming the odds. To others, they appear to care less. The more I dive into writing fiction, the more I see how my personal life is often hard to digest. I often joke that I will never write an autobiography because it would be too difficult to take in how one person has faced so many differing and challenging obstacles. I’d rather write a dozen fiction novels, each reflecting a bit of a single experience.
Unlike other writers or artists, I tend to avoid isolation. I want to interact and talk with others. I want to understand their perspectives, what drives them or slows them down, how they view their lives. However, hardly a social situation passes where I am not urged to tell at least a part of my personal story.
Some people don’t seem interested in talking about themselves, and will ask questions instead of giving answers. Yet, others seem to want to talk a lot, but of nothing with substance. Is it weird that I actually want to talk about something meaningful, something that could induce action or change in an effort to improve ourselves or take a stand on something important?
On the other hand, I can see how my insistence on a “productive” conversation can become exhausting at times. Trust me, it exhausts me too! I used to think what I was really looking for was making a connection, finding common ground. And you just can’t do that talking about the weather, or shopping, or the latest reality television series.
Which brings me back to my role as a writer and that I am realizing my analytic tendencies have more to do with storytelling than I give myself credit for. In this odd mixture of my personality traits, the writer within desires to look at my interactions with others from a practical, rational, and organized fashion because somewhere deep in my brain this will help me transfer the experience into a story. In a sense, this is my ‘storytelling method’. I pick apart a person, a circumstance, a movie, a politician’s speech–in an effort to tell the story. After all, without a reason and a motivation, there is no story.
Maybe this epiphany will only serve myself and publicly announcing it will just make me appear more abnormal to the masses. But for me, as I battle with what I thought to be conflicting personally traits, I am encouraged to finally see a way to combine all the things that make me who I am. And this will help me to become a grander storyteller for an audience that is authentically interested in what I have to say.