Writing is such a major part of my day that if I don’t get to it, I’m constantly distracted, as if I have a lover I’m thinking about. It’s like a siren’s call, pulling me away. My husband notices it. He comments on me seeming drifty. He’s right. I’m not fully there. But the discipline of writing an hour or more a day pulls me into myself, gives me the contemplative part I need. Balance.
I realize that the kind of stories I often produce keeps me in touch with life’s strangeness, its unfathomable mysteries. Realistic stories I enjoy, but they focus more on the everyday, on what’s visible from the ego’s view. My stories sometimes take another perspective, as if I’m looking at the world from the underside, showing what’s there but not normally perceived.
The strangeness I produce in fiction and poetry is why writing can be so much fun. But there’s also a psychological component for me. At the same time as I’m creating something others can read and enjoy, I’m also figuring out an aspect of myself.
In my “Spirit of the Law” story, it shows a character refusing to be locked into the masculine-dominated world of business. She had worked for a law firm much of her life as a secretary. Now dead, she may be doomed to haunt the halls of Johnson et al (her former employer) as a ghost, though it’s not a done deal. The character can take charge and get what she wants. To the degree that this character refers to some traits in me, this obsessive side to my personality can let loose of the restraints she’s put on herself by living in such a restrained way.
Another story, “Flight,” features an older woman who suddenly starts growing wings after having back surgery. As a girl, she’d often dreamt of flying without wings. Now in her later years, she has that opportunity again, but this time it won’t be a dream. Her biggest problem is concealing her wings from her psychiatrist husband, which she somehow manages to do. Of course, the burgeoning wings have already created a wedge between them. But after trying to conform most of their married life to what her husband expected of her, she’s now ready for freedom.
Again, “Flight” is showing me how I’ve given this critical male aspect of my personality too much control, and writing the story is a way to free myself, or at least to become more aware of when it is exhibiting excessive power.
So I’m eager to write more stories that will challenge not only my readers perspectives on how they view “reality” but will also help me become more aware of my own inner conflicts.