Once I became a writer weird stuff started happening to me. When I say weird stuff I mean unexplained things, unusual situations, bizarre hunches and crazy feelings.
In order to prove that I am not the only writer out there experiencing weird stuff I thought I would write this blog post on the subject.
*Lowers blonde head and mutters something about not wanting to be the only writer dealing with unexplained things.*
Let me explain something which occurred last week. I have spent the last two months working on a new first draft. It’s been a tough draft to work on… actually I am going to be honest and use a naughty word – it has been a bloody nightmare! Things have not run smoothly, characters have run riot, I have been FORCED to research stuff and my heartstrings have been left in tatters.
Once I typed ‘The End’ I was so relieved my creative suffering was over I considered throwing a ‘My Painful First Draft Is Finished’ Party. However as I was emotionally and physically wrung out I decided to bury the draft in the garden and promise myself to never look it at it again…ever!
In this epic romance tale (*sigh*) of mine, the main female character paints a lot and one of her paintings features a bicycle. This oil painting crops up quite a bit and plays a significant role in the story. In my draft I wrote about a vintage bicycle, baby pink, with thin white tyres, a basket, brown leather saddle, a bell and white handle bars.
Whilst I was cooking tea for my loved ones and thinking about this first painful draft, which I had just finished, my youngest daughter comes to me with her iPad. She thrusts the screen at me and says “I have decided I want a new bike for my birthday and that is the one I want.” Staring back at me was the EXACT bicycle from my story! My mouth fell open in surprise and the box of frozen turkey burgers fell to the floor. Don’t you think this is weird?
For noting – I don’t talk about my writing to any of my loved ones, my daughter has never shown any interest in bikes…until now and the turkey burgers were on special offer in my local supermarket when I was feeling thrifty.
This bicycle situation is an example of the weird stuff that happens to me.
I also experience:
- Meeting characters from my stories in normal day-to-day life.
- Writing about certain places and then magically seeing them appear in the news or on TV.
- Writing about a character and being so caught up on their story I actually get the feeling they are stood behind me. When I look round there no one is there.
- Hearing songs from my draft novel playlist on the radio when I am having a bad writing day.
After a lot of consideration I have come to the conclusion that weird stuff is going to happen once you become a writer.
As writers we drift between normal life and the fictional world so there’s bound to be some crossover. We get so involved in our stories and lives of fictional characters it’s no surprise parts of them bleed into our normal life.
Weird stuff could be a sign ideas are trying to get our attention. In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Big Magic’ she refers to ideas as being ‘disembodied energetic life-forms’ which search for ‘available and willing human partners.’ Could these weird occurrences be a sign that our ideas are trying to grab our attention? Maybe my first draft is trying to tell me something?
Writers are always on the look out for unusual situations or odd people. I actually think God knows this and increases our quota for weird stuff.
So I think when you wake up one morning and announce to your sleeping loved one that you are going to become a writer (like I did) you have to accept your life will not be the same again.
Weird stuff is great novel fodder. We shouldn’t be worried or shocked when odd things happen to us. They need to be written down and shovelled into our creative projects.
Have a great day all!
Has anything weird happened to you? Please let me know I am not the only one experiencing weird stuff 🙂
I loved the photo for this blog post. The woman is definitely a writer who has spotted one of her male characters in real life.