Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hiding Behind Words

A writer’s life is a solitary one.

We sit at our computers writing words that turn into sentences into paragraphs into pages and ultimately into a finished book.

One of the good things about this? You can be anyone you want to be.

Why is that important?

I’m shy. Oh boy, I’m sure there are friends laughing themselves silly at that declaration.

But it’s true. Growing up I was painfully shy and why I buried myself in books and writing stories. Call it the peril of being an only child with an overactive imagination.

But it was the beginning of what I do now. Back then I wrote about characters that became real to me, my very own invisible playmates. I could thrust myself into a new world where I was brave and confident. Where I could be anyone I wanted to be. Not the shy gawky kid I was.

I was very lucky. Teachers encouraged my love for reading and my need to write stories. Thanks to them I grew in that respect.

What it showed me was that my characters could say what I didn’t have the nerve to say. Do what I wouldn’t be able to do.

Talk about the perfect way to be what you want to be!You run into a rude person in a store. So many things you’d love to say to them, but you don’t.

No problem, go home, create that character for a book and blast them. You’ll feel so much better. Maybe that’s why my favorite alter-ego is a pair of man-eating bunny slippers.

And even now I’m shy. It can be difficult for me to enter a new situation unless a friend is with me. I’ll do it, but I may not be as talkative as I normally am.

So what about you? Do you have the shy gene? How do you cope?



  1. Hi Linda,

    Interesting post. My friends and sisters would probably not agree, but I can be incredibly shy until I get to know someone and know them really well. After that, I tend to be outspoken and borderline crazy at times. I find it difficult to strike up and hold a conversation with people I don't know.

    But writing has started to change that. I tend to make some of my characters the way I'd like to be and now in certain situations, I think of them and think...Why not?


  2. Elle,

    I'm the same way. And I'm better in small groups. My friends don't believe I'm shy, but a few know how I can be and are great enough to run interference in large groups.

    And yes, channel your characters. Jazz, etc. say what I'd love to say!


  3. I've got the shy gene too, though you wouldn't know it by the way I act online. *grin* Online I'll talk to just about anybody about anything. In person, not so much.

    I was also an only child with an overactive imagination. :) Grew up loving books, though I never thought about actually writing until I was an adult.

  4. I know what you mean, Tori. So much easier to chatter away on line.

    And don't you love having an overactive imagination? You can go totally wild. :}


  5. And I frequently do! Which is probably why I have zombies in this book I'm working on even though I don't like zombies, I don't watch zombie movies and I'd really rather not have to think about zombies. But I'm weak and my heroine INSISTED she had to fight zombies. :)

  6. You can have fun with zombies. I have the beginning of a flash fiction with zombies that I might post around Valentine's Day.

    And you have to listen to your heroine. If you don't she will find a way to hurt you. Mine sure do!