I am sitting here listening to my little girl play with her dolls. She is having a very important conversation with them and she is really into what she’s doing. I can remember playing like this a very long time ago. It’s amazing to me that in four short years, she has developed a sense of imagination that allows her to transform our coffee table into an ocean where her dolls are adrift on a piece of paper…er…a big ship…sorry.
At what point do we lose this flair for creation? For some of us, it never really dies. We, the writers, weave stories from the threads of our experiences. Although I’ve never been to Nevada, the main character in my mystery series lives there. Although I’ve never actually fired a gun, my PI has and does it without hesitation. I’ve never been locked in a basement with an ex-boyfriend, thank goodness, but Rona has and she really struggled with the whole ordeal.
As a child, I created my world using the things that were within my grasp. As an adult, I allow myself to reach outside of what I can physically see, feel and accomplish. I can’t believe I ever spent so much time trying to stay so grounded in reality. Working at a job I hated, dealing with problems created for me by the corporate machine which has no imagination, by the way. Only when I returned to my “Neverland” did I find the kind of happiness that you just can’t achieve when you leave yourself behind to grow up.
Writing for me has been a goal, an accomplishment, an escape, a therapy, a friend, a foe, and a necessity. If I’d never made oceans from coffee tables, I might well have missed out on one of the best gigs in the world. To be a writer is to be someone who can truly experience life, whether it be through our own actions or through the words we put on paper. So, this holiday season, as you write the last few pages of this year’s novel, think about all of the lives you have created in the pages of your work. Think about the places you’ve seen and the great things you’ve experienced…all from the other side of your keyboard. Write…and be happy.
Author of The Rona Shively Stories