Hi folks, this week may be a little tongue in cheek, but it's some of the truest advice you'll every get. Writing is about making imaginary friends. It really is. A youngish writer I know mentioned to me that he thought he was going a little crazy because he was worrying about his character. He was feeling guilty that he was putting his character through such hell. He also could see the great necessity of making his character go through said hell and that it was unavoidable.
I said, "YAY! Your work is popping."
A good litmus test to know if you will find success with your current work is this: Are you worried about your characters? I mean, I go into stores and think somebody I know would like that top, and then I remember the somebody I know, is somebody I made up. Oh, yes, I have had friends match-making for their character at coffee shops. "That guy who just served us our venti-sized mocha valencias, he'd be a great hookup for my character." We writers are a fanciful bunch, full of stories, and, yes, we are grown-ups with imaginary friends who we basically treat like crap. That is our job.
I hope you work on building those friendships this week. I hope you make your friends suffer. This is the job of writers. Amazing, weird, and wonderful.
This week's doodle comes from my thirteen year old son Jack. I am related to some creative folks, and I think that this means that artists take real things and make them imaginary. He calls this "Self Portrait".
Using the device of an imaginary world allows me in some strange way to go to the central issues - it's one of many ways to express feelings about real people, about real human relationships.