Friday, November 23, 2012

Why I Write

I suppose I am procrastinating for NaNoWriMo, but I'm going to write some more about writing. 

This time I'll answer the question: Why do I write?

My reasons are very similar to Sarah Arrow's reasons for writing except I didn't keep a dictionary. I found it too boring. I was born in the 90s and encouraged to write fantastical stories. The grammar hammer didn't come down until middle school.

I love Neil Gaiman's answer: "Because I can lie beautiful true things into existence & let people escape from inside their own heads & see through other eyes."

I write because I'm a storyteller. Since I learned that being an author was a career, it's what I've done. During my time as a USGA gymnast, I would entertain my teammates with stories as we trained. I would do a tumbling pass across the floor and, as we waited for our next turn, tell them line by line of what happened next. The first stories I wrote down were The Adventures of Cherish and Tisia, stories for my younger sisters which we acted out.

I write because I am otherwise plagued by my mind. I will have the same dreams over and over. I will become different people and be consumed by their adventures, needs, and stories. I figure if I'm going to go crazy, I may as well write it down. 

I write because there are stories that need to be told. But Aja, you say, these people aren't real. These events aren't real. I suppose not. Or maybe in some alternate world they are. Multiverse.

I write because I want to know. I want to know how other people think, what they do while I'm not there, and who they value. I want to know everything and explore others' minds so I pester people with questions and "why's" and "what happened next" and listen carefully to their word choices and diction. I monitor and question their particular movements and habits. What makes them, them.

I write because I'm better at writing than speaking. I have many fears and, for a long time, my lips were held closed my an intense social anxiety.

I write because it plagues me, because I'm crazy. It's no secret that the best writers are also the craziest, depressed, alcoholic, and obsessed. Edgar Allen Poe, Tennessee Williams, JK Rowling, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, etc.

I write because I have to. Perhaps that is the best answer.

For quotes on writing or pictures of books, visit my Pinterest Quotables or Everything Books

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dream Weaving: Where My Stories Start

With NaNoWriMo going on, I'm motivated to write a post about my writing.

Currently, I'm actively writing three stories. (Not the traditional NaNoWriMo route, I know, but I will have 50,000 words done.) I have another two manuscripts completed and at least six waiting in the wings, either partially written or outlined. When I tell people this, they are flabbergasted.

"Where do your stories come from?"

It's not the first time I've been asked this question. My stories come from dreams. I've realized, after talking to many friends and family members, that I don't dream quite normally.

Most of my sleep is used for active dreaming. I suppose I do have dreams that others would call nightmares. I've been set on fire by ghosts in the afterworld and walloped by Frankenstein on a playground. I've woken up in pain and crying after running through my neighborhood at night when velociraptors or murders are chasing me. Still, I call these adventures rather than nightmares. 

When I dream a dream that I've had before, I can manipulate and change my actions so I can see new end results. I suppose it's similar to alternate endings in video games. However, I don't call it lucid dreaming because I'm not always aware that I'm dreaming. 

If I wake up slowly enough, I can remember dialogue and character's names. I can remember sequences of events and even link one dream to another as if it were episode one and episode two. When I take part in the dreams, I have extensive and vivid memories of a life that never was. I meet new people and sometimes take close friends or family members and insert them into my dreams. 

Honestly, I spend an abnormal amount of time dreaming or daydreaming even though I really don't sleep more than 8 hours. Almost every morning, I review the dream I've just had. As I get ready for the day, I hook my music into the bathroom speakers and listen as certain songs take me on mental trips about my characters or scenes I've yet to write.

No matter what I do during the day, I'm thinking about writing or I am writing down a scene at least once every hour. I do this in between classes as a substitute teacher, watching unrelated television shows, reading manga online, and even eating.

My most active writing happens in the stillness of night. Everything from the day comes together and my mind moves with dialogue and memories.

Following that I fall into dream world again.