Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Voices in My Head

Now, you can take this one of two ways.
I need help (sometimes I do) or:
I need a keyboard and a few hours alone.

Let’s just assume I’m talking about the second type of voices in my head.

From the time I was a young whipper snapper, I couldn’t look at the news or a an article without my mind insinuating, ooohh, that’d make a great story. I remember writing my first novel in eighth grade about a horrible fire and a pilot who took a flight up to try and seed the clouds so it would rain and save the people below. For whatever reason he couldn’t do it properly, so he died trying to release the chemicals in order to save the people.

Pure unadulterated cheddar!

But, I had heard of some massive fires and heroics being done to save folks’ homes. And I simply HAD to write and tell their story.

Fast forward about 28 years. Now, I still had felt those tuggings all those years, but ignored them in order to raise my kids, do soccer with my kids, theatre with my kids, and re-enacting with my husband. In other words, I put the not-so-alive aside for the sake of the living.

But the voices never quieted.

I’d watch the news and mmmmm, that would make a great story filled my head again. And it’s not enough to say I only had an inkling of an idea. The characters came immediately to life; I could hear their dialogue and see their faces, fighting for the right to live! Without sounding trite, I began to understand just a trickle of what someone with a disorder might feel like, cuz those communities of people living in my imagination really wanted out. Wanted their stories told. Even pushed and shoved at each other for who would be first in line.

Bless the first folks’ heart. No one will ever read their story. It was horrid, but, at least, I told it, however lamely…

For non-writers reading this, I’m sure they’ve already reserved me a room in Happy Acres where I’ll get the rest and medication I need, but for you writers, you know.

Ahh, yes, you know so well how it is when the new folks come to town, take up residence in your mind, and begin picking away at your imagination until you have to tell their story or lose sleep night after night.

How is it for you? How do you sort out and decide which of the voices come alive and which are put aside for another day? Or, do you just head for Happy Acres, sit in front of the TV, and pretend they never existed in the first place?

5 comments:

  1. How well I know what you're saying-not only the voices but don't you just think about everything you hear would "make a great title"
    I have a gazillion titles to go with all these screaming characters and ideas.
    Now, also being a nurse- I have to be cautious about letting certain people know about these characters! Like you say- "you writers, you know."

    ReplyDelete
  2. ROFL. Were you at Bible study last night?! I finally confessed to the ladies that I heard voices in my head. Oh my. Their looks were... classic. They tried hard to not look around for the white-coats. They really did. LoL.

    Uh, yes. I understand the voices in the head thing. Totally. In living color, hi-def, surround sound. And kinda feel bad for people who don't hear voices--it must get lonely in there sometimes! ;-)

    How do I sort out which voice to listen to? Deadlines. Goals. Who's screaming the loudest and wearing the Hawaiian print get-up and where I feel God leading.

    Oh, and I do sneak off to my private room the Funny Farm occasionally. It's the one with the brass name-plate on the door. It says: Patty Wysong. What a coincidence! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You ladies crack me up, but oh yes, I do understand. Be careful, Lily, as a nurse, you could have a lot of s'plainin' to do. Isn't it fun, though, trying to tell someone what goes on in a writer's head. You're right. The LOOKS!!! Oh, but how the world would be so bland without us!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The voice in my head just kept telling me the same message for all these years--write a mystery novel!

    And now I've completed four, and am working to rewrite two others! Now if I could just get that voice to say--you're getting published! Oops--I guess it is saying that. Just need someone outside my head to agree! : )

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Pure unadulterated cheddar!" ROFL. Love that! Like those 28 years you had, Linda, I think most of the voices in my head lately are distractions that drown out the writing voices. Stuff I have to do instead of write. And it is SO frustrating. I desperately want to hear those voices again. I long to be loony. :-)

    ReplyDelete