Recently I took Kid A shopping. During the expedition I may, or may not, have been acting a little strangely. She grinned at me and said, "Mom, all the voices in my head and I agree, you're crazy."
I laughed because it was funny, and because like me, my daughter has stories living in her head. And yes, when you are a writer you do talk to the characters. And because I may indeed be crazy--in a good way. I hope. And yes, I can start sentences with and if I want to. And I do.
This got me thinking (Kid A, not a plethora of ands) about some of the strange/insane/fun things I did when I was a kid. Here's one:
I grew up with six siblings, and we didn't have television. This translated into long days filled with adventure. Once we decided it would be great fun to climb to the top of our one-and-a-half story house and jump off the roof onto a pillow. Yes, a pillow. What can I say, we were brilliant.
My parents got wind of the idea and slaughtered it because they were (and are) good parents. They declared the roof off limits. We moaned and complained then came up with a grand new plan. The roof may have become a no-man's land, but the house had windows. A lot of them. And yes, we really were that brilliant.
We positioned our pillow in the grass, fluffed it once or twice, because we all knew the value of a poofy pillow, and raced to an upstairs window. We all preceded to jump, single file, like a bunch of lemmings onto one increasingly flat pillow.
It was awesome--at least until Mom and Dad found out and jumping from the window onto pillows joined the black list. What did we do then? We moved the trampoline under the window. Yup, didn't I mention brilliant?
What does this have to do with writing? Way more than you think. Really.
Writing, especially submitting to agents and editors, is a lot like jumping out of a high window onto a pillow. It's exciting and feels dangerous. It may even be a little crazy. Sometimes you end up with a few bruises, but the experience is so worth it. And like prepping the pillow before we jumped, revising, revising, and revising can help your landing be less jarring. As time goes by, you even learn to pull the trampoline under the window.
Here's to jumping!