I hate it when my husband tells me “It’s just a story” or “it’s just a movie” or “it’s just a show, it isn’t real” or he asks me “Why do you care so much? It’s not real?”
I can’t help it. It makes me flame. I’ve lost count of the number of times his off-handed aforementioned comments have left me more pissed off than I should have been (I’ll admit that much), stomping my way down the hall and into my office, where I once again take solace in my books, my music, my movies, my computer.
Such is life for way too overly imaginative, creatively minded me.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention the fact that I’m a writer?
Oh shit. Probably should have mentioned that earlier.
I tried to explain it to him tonight.
That as a writer, over 95% of what whirls around like a maelstrom in my brain every minute of every hour of every day (when it isn’t song lyrics), is those characters that “aren’t real” to most people. And plot lines, random name and story ideas, movies I loved, books I loved, random things that inspire me along the way.
I’m a writer. If not for things that “didn’t exist”, my brain would be almost entirely silent almost all of every day.
But it isn’t, as those of you out there who are fellow writers, fellow movie buffs, fellow fanboys and fangirls and music buffs—fellow imaginative and creatively-minded people will attest.
Life is what you make it. And what the hell kind of life can we ever hope to live without passion in it, without love—love of life, love of loved ones, love of what we do, love of the things we find joy in—the things that we’re passionate about, the things that drive and inspire and move us—to do, to partake in, to create for ourselves?
I’m a writer, and a lifelong self-admitting bibliophile. I’ve been in love with the written, spoken, and sung word for my entire life. Since I was four, I can’t remember a time I wasn’t madly in love with a book—with the worlds that lie in wait between the covers, in the movies, on the TV screen, and more often than I’m comfortable admitting, in my head, in the worlds that exist there, and the characters that live and breathe within each and every one of them.
I have been writing stories, poetry, and songs of my own since I was 8 years old, which means that I have of my own free will, sat down to homework of my own assigning each and every night (most nights for 8-12 hours at a sitting without blinking), spinning out tales and creating characters and dialogue and situations and creating worlds that “aren’t real.”
When it comes to the work of others—books, poetry, songs, movies, TV shows—I’ve always paid more attention than most of the people I know in my day to day life.
I don’t know why.
Is it because I’m a bibliophile? Is it because I’m a writer? Because I understand how much work and thought and effort and time they pour into their work, as I always have?
Maybe it’s just because I’m overly imaginative, or my empathetic nature?
I’ve always had this uncanny way of being able to feel the feelings of others very deeply, the same as I’ve always felt things in general very deeply—when I love, when I hate, when I despair, when I rage, when I yearn, or desire, or despise, or loathe, I do so with every single fiber of my being. Down into the depths of my deepest heart and soul.
I always felt that it was my empathetic and strongly passionate and feeling nature that helped me dive into my work as hard and deeply as I do—that it added to the realism and the depth of my work—that it made it easier for me to convey the feelings of what I was trying to put across to possible readers, and what my characters felt.
After all, what good is a story, if you can’t move others to feel? If you can’t touch them through your work? If you can’t share stories with them that haunt them, or inspire them, hurt them, or heal them?
What good is a story, a movie, a book, a song, a poem, a painting, a portrait, a work of art at ALL, if it doesn’t affect those who see/hear/feel/taste/touch it?
This is why it pisses me off when he tells me it’s “Just a show”… it’s “Just characters, they’re not real.”
No shit, Sherlock. (no offense to Sherlock in any of his incarnations, be they movie, book, TV show (hell yes I’m a fan. Bring it on BBC. And hell no, I still haven’t forgiven you for the end of Merlin. That one seriously hurt.)
I know they’re figments of someone’s imagination.
But you know what? Those figments are put forth into the world meant to inspire…
To convey human emotion, in all its sometimes painful, generally messy, sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, passionate, and sometimes horrendous glory.
It was created by emotion-feeling people, for emotion-feeling people.
It was one person’s way of opening their heart and soul, laying it bare before our feet and saying “Here, come crawl into my brain and give me a moment of your time, and I share with you the endless galaxies that exist within my innermost heart and soul.”
But don’t ask my husband.
“It’s only a TV show.”