As I shift gears from focusing on writing fiction to writing songs, I’m realizing several truths about the writing world and about myself. My first epiphany today came to me after a Facebook discussion of Don Draper on MadMen. I realized I mostly loved his scenes where he was alone and some song played in the background that really told the story of where he was at in his head.
The second epiphany today came to me while reading Maddie Dawson’s latest novel, The Opposite of Maybe. Forty-something and pregnant Rosie is rehearsing how she’s going to tell Jonathan that he’s going to be a father. Here’s what she says about him:
“He’s artistic and creative. He lives in his own head, which is where he also stores a bunch of numbers and statistics, and that’s why he can’t really do the family thing like other people. It interrupts his head space. He’s actually probably quite brilliant.”
I love this book but I relate more to Jonathan than Rosie and the reason why is that I’m artistic. I’m not like other people or other writers – heck, I may even say that most writers are not artistic – not commercially-successful writers. There are too many necessary anal parts to being a writer.
While writing is a lonely profession, writers are not necessarily loners by nature. I love people but I’m more comfortable people-watching or spending time alone or with two or three special friends. I’m much better sipping wine with a friend and discussing the deeper things of life or even going a little crazy – lol! Somehow this doesn’t translate on Facebook. Not that FB doesn’t serve a purpose – it does – but it’s no substitute for spending time with friends in-person or for contemplative walks in the desert.
That was the real draw to moving back to Las Vegas – the quiet and solitude of the desert. And no matter how much I may wish I was a different type of person – the kind who draws people to them and can write stories like Maddie Dawson that the mainstream crowd can embrace – truth is I am in a much smaller camp of uniquely artistic people and more of a loner than a crowd pleaser.
And I find more satisfaction in music than in writing. With writing, I need readers. But music is something I can enjoy creating for myself.