The Makeup Of Who We Are

Image Credit: Holistic Hippy

As writers, we are constantly creating characters and giving meaning to their lives.

Do you ever wonder who wrote you?

I mean think about it. If there was a writer who sat down and envisioned your life and your story who would it be?

Why did that writer give you some of the crazy characteristics you display in your day to day life? Why do some things hit close to home while other things barely grasp your attention?

Who created you – as you are?

Did someone dream you up – like we do to the characters in our novels?

I ask these questions because they are interesting (to me at least) to ponder. I mean come on; artists are wonderers at heart. It’s our curiosity towards the world around us that helps us create.

Why do somethings matter to us more than others?

Isn’t it fascinating how many factors make up a person. Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of the NY Times Bestseller “Eat Pray Love“) brilliantly summed up all of the influences that constitute a human being. When trying to get to the root cause of her depression she asked herself was it psychological, temporal, genetic, cultural, astrological, artistic, evolutionary, karmic, hormonal, dietary, philosophical, seasonal, environmental, I mean shoot me now.

I don’t want to dig that deep into it, but I would like to know why somethings deeply sadden me while others bring me unimaginable joy. Why I love the smell of vanilla and abhor the smell of lavender. Why I’m drawn to iron gates, attracted to some with lazy eyes, and love alien like characters like “Echo” from the movie “Earth To Echo“.

Why I like my turkey sandwiches – slice of bread, 3 pieces of turkey, white american cheese, pepper, Hellman’s mayo, and other slice of bread. In That Order! Oh and I can’t forget the drink – a coca cola (in a can please). The bottled version of coke tastes different. Don’t argue with me about that. It just does.

Why I love a new book – not to read it – but sometimes just to flip through the pages. I love the feel of the pages and running my hands over the cover image.

Why the sight of any lily warms my heart or why seeing a blue jay makes me jump for joy.

Why seeing a homeless guy crushes me, seeing a woman being beaten dampens my spirit, or seeing someone harm an animal sends me into a rage.

All of those things describe me (one individual – a spec in the grand scheme of things). A very small piece – it seems, in the story we call life. But yet, a relevant piece – because I do exist.

I believe our experiences, perspectives, preferences, and nuisances shape who we are as writers. Those things about us give us our passion and our drive. They are the reasons that some us shy back from releasing horror into the world and others like Stephen King thrive on it. I think that pondering who we are can further shape the way we write and the stories we create.

There are some things about yourself that you may want to throw away and other pieces that make you a compassionate human being. Sometimes we can’t make sense of our pieces when they are spread out or when we think of them as separate things, but when we actually look a little closer we may see a theme running through each of our strange yet fascinating preferences.

Take a look at the black and white gallery below of the things that I’m drawn to and that catch my eye. Perhaps creativity will spark somewhere for you, perhaps you will enjoy my unique preferences, perhaps it will remind you of a time in your life, or perhaps it will help you see how we are all connected. I do believe we are all here for a reason – bizarre traits and all!

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Thanks for reading!

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The Top 5 Reasons I Love To Write

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Reason #1: To Express My Thoughts & Emotions

If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad. – Lord Byron

It’s so true, isn’t it? There are so many other ways to express yourself, but for me writing seems to be the way that is most natural. I could have easily just picked another craft to indulge in, but there is something about writing that just delights my soul. With so many emotions and thoughts flowing through us there has to be some kind of outlet.

For as long as I can remember I carried a notebook around with me. Whether it was venting to my best friend about my annoying teachers back in high school, writing letters to those who hurt me deeply, or just writing down 100 reasons why I loved someone near and dear, writing has been a way to make sense of all the emotions and thoughts that flow through me.

Reason #2: Freedom

If I wanted to write a story about pink fairies, in purple dresses, dancing around a small pond filled with sugar – I could!

I love that writing has no restrictions. I can be as sinister or as ethereal as I want to be. When I put pen to paper there is no telling what my crazy mind may conjure up. I can go as far as I want to go, dig into any topic that delights me, travel to the darkest corners of my mind, and excavate treasures that are beyond my wildest dreams.

There is freedom in writing and freedom is what our soul cries out for.

Reason # 3: I Am Judge, Jury, & Executioner

And I don’t have to feel bad about it either. I love the fact that I am the one who sets all the rules in my writings. I am the God of the story! I give all of my characters their motives, intentions, desires, and their path. I get to say who stays and who goes. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

As writers, we get to create and govern the worlds that we dream up. We are the police officers, the priests, the wanderers, the lost souls, the animals, the rioters, the angels, and the demons of our stories.

Reason # 4: I Get To Experience Different Parts Of Myself

Ohhhhh how I loved experiencing myself as a black panther named “Jungle Cat” in my novel Journey Through Sattara. The power and influence of that animal in my story helped me see the power and influence that I have within me. (*Spoiler Alert*) The fact that I could dream up an animal that plays such a huge part in the survival of Ne’Ya and Su”Ma (the two main characters of the novel), is amazing to me. The characters that we give life to in our stories are the parts of ourselves that want to be expressed. Who knew that I was that powerful, that fearless, and that instinctual? If you haven’t read Journey Through Sattara yet, it’s about time that you get a copy.

Reason #5: For The Fantasies

“Why can’t you just say it? Are you attracted to me Mr Jones?”

He didn’t answer. He just dropped his head again.

“I think I am going to head home now,” he said as he put the glass to his lips to finish off his drink.

“Why?” I asked curiously.

“Because if I stay here, I am going to be very disrespectful to you.”

– Excerpt From My Novel Hooked On The Jones

It doesn’t matter if we say it or not – we live in our minds. We are always daydreaming about things that society would deem inappropriate. Writing helps us act out those fantasies without causing too much trouble. The character Leslie that I dreamt up in my Hooked On The Jones book is smart, sexy, and well put-together. Those are all qualities that are acceptable in today’s society. (*Spoiler Alert*) But add a Manhattan apartment, a powerful business man, and a few drinks and suddenly you have a scene that if lived out in real life, would have your momma smack you across the face.

We have all dreamed about crossing boundaries and doing things way outside of our character. Writing allows you the freedom to do it, but without ruining your marriage or life afterwards.

In Closing

Writing is a way of life. It’s how we express ourselves and communicate how we feel. We create worlds with our words and words have power. I have always believed that. You can write a few sentences and crush someone’s spirit to the point of no return or you can write a story that inspires a nation, that heals, and that unites. My book Mother Father God is a perfect example of that.

Writing is in me. I may not form my sentences in ways that everyone deems appropriate, but there are stories to be told, and energy that would like to be expressed. I write because I believe I was chosen to write. I believe there is Great Spirit that has something to say and it comes to me (in the form of inspiration), because I am the perfect person to say it.

I don’t know why, but apparently it sees something in me. It sees something in the experiences that I’ve gathered throughout life. It sees something in the way that I put words together. It feels something in my heart that is a match to its spirit. What could be more exciting than an unseen force wanting to speak, and choosing you to script the story that it wants to tell?

How about you? Why do you love to write?

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