I write about what’s current in my life – and right now, it’s all about work. And also writing. Since the writing retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with A Writing Room, writing has become a more natural part of who I am. So, when I write scenes for my fiction book, what comes through is work most of the time.
And like any team, I am working with the team to get them and me aligned. Sometimes, it is frustrating as I just want everybody to do what I am asking without waiting for them to catch up. Yes, I know you are thinking, how do I know I am right all the time – I don’t, but that’s why it’s a conversation, but it takes ages for people to open up so that we are talking about what really matters. It is waiting for them to finish their assessment and getting them to open up, which takes time. And somewhere in that process this time, I thought – what if I look at them as a character in my story?
For that tiny instant, my frustrations with them disappeared as I could see that, as a character, they were trying to follow their arc – and there was nothing that I could do as an author to speed up except be there for them. That led me to think about the similarities between writing and life. I am beginning to realize that in writing, I am genuinely the medium through which the characters express themselves, just as the universe expresses itself through us in life. And how it unfolds has very little to do with our own wants or desires. Just like in Nature, fruits take their own sweet time to ripen (Yes, I know you can modify that genetically, but look where that has led us), leaves fall when they have to, and the sun rises and sets. It is a bit of a throwback to Costa Rica, where Nature works exactly as it is supposed to – similarly, people in my life behave precisely as they are supposed to, not as I would like them to. Just as my writing is a reflection of the writer that I am right now and NOT what I imagine myself to be. It is harsh – because I want to be a best-selling author right now. I still remember telling my dad this, and his comment was – Well, for that first write the book.
It is good to have dreams, desires and states that we want to achieve, but it all starts from where you are right NOW. NOW is the only place where anything can happen. Rest all is an illusion. And that is a hard lesson to learn because sometimes the NOW is uncomfortable or simply not to our liking. And the only way out of NOW is to be in the NOW.
Returning to the character analogy – it is hard to live in that reality all the time. Still, sometimes, it does take the edge off the situations when I view people as characters in their own right instead of wanting them to conform to my opinion of how they should be.
How do you interact with other people? And does that have an impact on your writing?