I used to have a life.
I used to be fun.
These are all things I have said in the past year and the statements are as true as they are false. The thing is writing changes you—at least it changed me. I didn’t see it right away, but looking back it started way before I noticed it was happening.
While I was writing Dark Corners, I stopped wanting to go out and meet my friends. I stopped wanting to participate when I could be in and control the world in my head. Maybe this doesn’t happen to all writers, but it happens to me. People say things like writers are introverts, and I have agreed with them. Yes, writers must be introverts because I am one now. However, if I think back, I haven’t always been like this. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was ever an extrovert, but I have never been shy either.
The fact is being creative changes the way I view, approach, and live my life. As a writer it is hard to flip a switch and stop thinking with a writer’s brain when someone finally drags me out of my cave. My mind struggles to catalogue nuances of dialogue and phrasing, register expressions and emotion, and observe all those around me looking for moments of truth—those rare moments when people are unguarded for just a split second. That isn’t fun, though, for anyone but me, unless I am hanging out with other creative people (but if that happened then the chances are I wouldn’t be out in the first place. We would all still be home working and socializing via Facebook).
However, I also said those statements are false and they are to a degree. I still have a life, but it has changed. My life now revolves around doing what I love and it often consumes me, but it is still there. I am lucky to have wonderful friends and family who have accepted that and allow me to change. And I am still fun (at least I hope I am) it is just in a different way. It might be a quieter and more subtle way than before and my audience may have changed, but it is still there. The thing I have to remember is life is ever-changing. None of us will stay exactly as we are in this moment because each moment brings on new challenges and successes and lessons that shape and mold who we are and will become.
So what is the point of all of this self-aware rambling? It is the start of a new year and with that comes the hope of being better than the year before. However, I am not going to resolve to lose weight or eat healthy or go out with my friends more or learn another language. Instead, my resolution for 2014 is simple.
I resolve to embrace who I am now and all the changes this year will bring.
I wish you all a happy New Year filled with love and cupcakes.