Is this normal?


I’m doing a bit of rambling today because I can. 

I’ve nearly always ‘lived inside my head.’ When I was around fifteen I sat one day and started writing my daydreams down on paper. Yep, good ol’ paper and pen. No typewriter, definitely no computer. Pen in hand I’d stay up most of the night writing knowing I wouldn’t want to wake for school in the morning. Thank goodness I enjoyed school. When I got out of school, aged, my writing grew, the subjects changed but I couldn’t-for the life of me- create my own real characters, modeling each hero after a famous person (even in everyday settings- ugh!). Everything I wrote was in first person introspection and second person for the protaginist. Yeah– really bad writing!

It wasn’t until I’d accumulated a large boxful of this, as we in the writing world know it, “crap” that I decided to get serious. I wanted the world to read my “crap”. By that time I had been married for… a long time. I had three beautiful daughters and the first of four darling granddaughters by this time. And I’d finally discovered I can make up men! I love creating my heroes and using heroines who aren’t modeled after me. Who knew? Apparently the world of writing did, but I didn’t actively focus on that either. So how did I get from knowing nothing about writing to selling a book? You got me! Lol

Actually it took writing a lot more “crap”. And I thought I was the only person in the world who wrote in the special brand of putting words together. Then I discovered a secret world I didn’t know existed. A world just for people with voices living in their heads. I began to learn “stuff”. For instance, “crap” is a favored style for all writers! Well, maybe not ‘favored’, but well documented and verbally accepted. I can’t tell you how many authors have told me to write it. Really! When you get stuck, can’t seem to wake up the muse, stare at blank pages/screens- write. No matter how bad it is in the end it can usually be fixed. But the most important lesson in this is as long as you have something, anything written- it can be fixed. A blank page…not so much fixing going on there.

And another thing I learned; if you can’t seem to write anything- not even crap- IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! (K, this was a hard one for me because I feel responsible about any of my actions) It’s true. There’s this little invisible gnome, fairie, devil- whatever yous is- that is in charge of your writing. It’s called a muse. I should have acknowledged mine in HOME but didn’t. Nobody hardly ever gives the muse credit for good work done, other than “My muse cooperated today, loves me, is in a good mood”…etc. I haven’t figured that one out yet, but if it goes awry-blame it on the muse. 

But all in all, in the end- it’s up to you. If you want to write, write.

I used to think I was strange that voices lived in my head 24/7. I talked to them, directed them. Then I found out I’m not alone. This is the brain of a writer! Me! We live with our characters constantly chit-chatting away day and night. I have long lost track of missed sleep, driving somewhere and suddenly I’m there and don’t remember how I got there, conversations (in the real world) where I apparently agreed to or said something I don’t recall agreeing to or saying. I’ve also learned such is also a “normal” part of a writer’s life. Hey look at me Ma! I AM NORMAL! I listen with one ear inside and one ear outside at all times and I never know when or how a new story idea may strike. It’s kinda like lightening, it strikes where it feels the most energetic pull, and rarely hits in the same spot twice. But it almost always leaves an impression on me.

So what about you? Are you still holed up inside you head, convinced the little men in white jackets will pop up if you open your mouth? Do you wear a sign that proclaims you one of the insane who live inside your head? Speak out! After all, as a writer in these days it’s important to be able to say “I’m a writer.” If you can’t now how do you expect to market yourself and sell those little gems once they are out of your head for all the world to gawk at?

It won’t go away, might as well embrace it while you’re wrapped tighter than a burrito in that white coat. BE PROUD! 

Join me here on the ranch Monday when I have the funny and talented Storm’s Interlude author, the lovely TWRP Rose, Vonnie Davis. You won’t want to miss that one!


About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), and I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 08/26/2011, in my writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Was at a writers conference years ago when Josephine Humphries plunked herself down at our lunch table and after showing off the souvenir T-shirts she’d gotten for her sons, asked, “How many of you grew up feeling different?’ Every hand went up and I remember feeling “I am not alone any more.”
    We ARE normal — for writers!


  2. Reading and imagining stories when I was a child pretty much kept me sane, as strange as that sounds. I think writing also wakened my senses and made me more aware of and into every moment in life. But the one thing you said, Calisa, that really caught my eye was “I can make up men” lol!


  3. Calisa, I love it. I was bobbing my head, saying, “Yep, me too…” through the entire blog. You really captured the writer–and the muse. Congratulations, again, on ‘Home,’ it is a fantastic story.


  4. Calisa, this is how you’ve matured as a writer–when you know which is crap and which isn’t. LOL Great post, and recalled many memories. I agree with making up heroes and heroines. When someone asks me what actor my hero or heroine is modeled after, it always surprises me. The answer is “No one. Characters are imagined and not patterned after a person.” I hate books that say the hero looks like this actor or reminds the hero of that actress. To me, that’s sloppy characterization and lazy writing. Oops, there goes another of my soap boxes. LOL


    • I agree Caroline about not preferring books with look-a-like h/h. It took me forever to create a hero who didn’t look, talk and walk like Randy Owen from the country singing group Alabama! He was my 80’s heart throb and every hero was him reincarnate. lol


  5. I was one of the few kids who looked forward to bedtime. That’s when I made up my stories. It was fun to pick up each night from where I’d left off the night before. Long car rides, long walks to school — no problem — I just added to my story. Then as an adult I spent some time riding a train to work to NYC. The same people were on the train each day and I began to make up stories about them. I had the man in the blue suit married to the woman in the tan raincoat and he was cheating on her!! I got so involved that when I saw them on the street, I felt sorry for their troubles, LOL.


  6. That’s too funny Tina! Living in a remote area, not getting out much since my car broke down I don’t have interactions like that but I can’t imagine what I’d do if it happened to me. Cheers to ‘the daughter’!


  7. I recently had a friend seek me out because she was worried about her daughter, who loves to write, and who gets lost in her own little world or holes up in her room for hours. She wanted to know, since I’m a writer and she considers me normal, if I was like that growing up. Yep! Definitely normal, even my non-writing friends think so.


  8. I’ve always been accused of being “out there”…a daydreamer. Sadly, I didn’t know what to do with my daydreams when I was younger and wished I had the memory recall to twist those dreams into stories. My writing didn’t really start until four years ago, so until then, I agreed I was different. Now, I know I am! I’m a writer which makes me wonderfully different….and normal. About writing *crap* – three story ideas evolved from an afternoon of writing *crap* now plotted and waiting for me bring them to life.


  9. I so agree Lynne. That was what I was trying to say in the line *But all in all, in the end- it’s up to you. If you want to write, write.* My mind was going in ten different directions as I wrote this piece. LOL

    Yippee for first drafts!


  10. Hi Calisa,
    Everything you said is true, except I think we have to be less dependent on our muse and trust that if we start writing words, something will become of it. Don’t wait for the muse or inspiration. What if neither come? Just write the stories down.
    I resisted the voices in my head until late middle age. I just thought I was a serious daydreamer and that I had big problems! LOL. So glad to find out I was supposed to be a writer.
    What would we do without that sh*tty first draft?


  11. My parents used to ask each other where I was…when I was right there with them. Took me a while to realize that was their code for ‘get Kristina out of her imaginary world’!

    I agree with Jannine, though, crap isn’t always as bad as we think…plus, as La Nora says, (paraphrased) you can edit crap, you can’t edit a blank page. 🙂


  12. Crap isn’t always as bad as you think! Right now I’m taking one of those early manuscripts and editing it into something I hope isn’t crap. Writing crap just gives you an opportunity to sharpen those editing skills! LOL


    • Janine I can’t agree more! Editing skills are a necessary part of any writer’s life. And I often write crap to get in the mod when I might have trouble.


  13. Lol, when I was young, I think my mother thought I was a bit strange. I lived in my head a lot and was always making up and writing down stories.

    My husband and sons are used to me and basically know to leave me alone when I’m in the zone.


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