Beyond Talks with Imaginary People: Ten Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks Writers Are Crazy*

Pintip Mermaid1. At the table of a crowded restaurant, we debate the pros and cons of killing by poisonous gas or a slit to the throat.

2. Most of our texts to our friends read something like: “1236 words! You?”

3. We return to our manuscripts and add an adjective (only to take it out later in revisions) just so we can say we hit out daily word count.

4. We call our friends to share life events – “Brynn just got into college!” or “Brynn has a baby!” – and accept the ensuing congratulations like a proud mama, even though Brynn is not our daughter. Or niece. Or even a person, really.

5. One year later, we completely blank on Brynn’s name.

6. We convince our husbands to help us out with a sticky detail by contorting our bodies into complicated sexual positions. And when we figure out just the right angle, we pop up and rush out of the room, saying, “Thanks! Gotta get this scene down!”

7. We respond to highly erotic sex scenes by pointing out the missing commas.

8. We get caught checking out a teenaged soccer player, over two decades younger than us, because he reminds us of the hero in our book.

9. We make plans to meet up with our out-of-town best friend, with whom we’ve exchanged thousands of texts, emails, and phone calls, and ten minutes before we arrive at the destination, we turn to our companion and say, “Gee, I hope I recognize her.”

10. We spend hundreds of hours, over months or even years of our lives, sacrificing sleep and entertainment and time with loved ones, pouring our hearts and souls into a story that may never earn us more than spare change, may never be read outside a circle of our closest friends, may never amount to anything other than a file on our computer — and yet, we do it anyway. For the love of the story.

And then we get up the next day and do it again.

* This post is dedicated to Kimberly-Mermaid.