Ok- so this morning, a good friend of mine who loves to write like I do- said to me… Are you REALLY doing freelancing? How in the WORLD can you sit down and write for other people… Huh? I was confused… I mean isn’t that what we do every time we put pen to paper- or fingers to keyboard I should say… Aren’t we always writing, hoping SOMEONE will see the beauty in our words… or be inspired by a story we share… or laugh at a silly anecdote… Anyone with a college degree- heck even a high school diploma- has experience writing for others… I mean, not many people go around doing science projects and writing about them for fun… sticking headings on a backboard… science fairs- I STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES!!! And what about all of those research papers? Learning APA and creating papers formatted just so… Yeah- that was painful. But that is not REALLY what i was talking about… When I write for other people- YEAH- it may be a research paper-you know, for their research… not a class or anything, really… or it might be an ad- it might be an opinion or a list… articles and blog posts about things that your employer wants you to write about… you could be stuck writing about a product that you TOTALLY despise… but the enjoyment comes in building that piece- creating- making your reader BELIEVE you think that is the best product since sliced bread. Selling that horrible product even… making OTHER people think it is the best product… but isn’t that disingenuous she asked? I gave her points for the big word-lol. “OH MY GOSH” I exclaimed… “YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Why would ANYONE want to write about something they don’t truly enjoy, or about an experience they had never had… or something they wish they could… That is like pretending to be someone you are not- like anyone would EVER do that… I mean I can imagine people putting on costumes and walking around, pretending to be someone else- all for the entertainment of others. I mean, going to the extreme of losing weight, or shaving their heads, just so other people “buy in” to their deception. How disingenuous is that… I mean, imagine a whole group of those lunatics parading around, dressed like someone else, using words that some other lunatic wrote for them, pretending to be somewhere they really aren’t. Crazy, right. And, what if those lunatics did it all while some other knuckle-heads are actually recording their little dress up frenzy… How ludicrous would that be… Then, to top it all off- they forced unknowing people to pay money to sit in a room and actually WATCH this lunacy on a big screen… I mean- the nerve of these people… thinking that other people want their lies splashed up in front of us, expecting us silly sheep to sit there- watching their lies and eating popcorn…” I think the popcorn part really brought home my point… of course to hide her earlier confusion she rolled her eyes and said something very unbecoming and we changed the subject. But I really had not made my point. Yes- I made her see the parallels between writing and acting… how we, as writers, are just actors. We act like we enjoy things we don’t, like we have been places we haven’t. Heck, there are times when we pretend to be men instead of women, black instead of white, rich instead of poor… beautiful- ok, that is not a stretch for some of us- but you get my point, right? Writing gives you the power to be whoever you want to be. The power to handle conflict and tragedy in ways that you have never been able to handle it in your real life. It is a form of fantasy. For a time, you get to step into a world of your own making. You decide if there is stress or strife- you decide if the enemy lives or dies, and if the heroine gets her man. You decide to challenge ideals that have been in existence way too long. You get to play pretend all day long. Only when the kids are saying- MOM it is 8 and we haven’t had dinner, Mom when are you going to be done writing… MOM- not kidding, the house is on FIRE! The firemen said you should unplug your laptop and come out!… You get the idea. Only then do you have to come back to the real world, look at some real firemen (by the way, those guys wear waaay to many clothes- how are we supposed to figure out what month they are if they are hiding under all that bulky stuff) and get back to your boring, or crazy, life just the way it is. What is better than that?