Hello, friends! Welcome the first posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group for 2020! If you’re a writer, and if you feel in any way insecure about your writing life, click here. I.W.S.G. is an awesome organization for insecure writers like us!
For years now, I’ve used these I.W.S.G. posts to tell you about the relationship I have with my muse. She’s a clever muse. She can also be really annoying sometimes. But my muse is also a little bit more than just my muse. She’s also my conscience.
If you’ll allow me to get religious for a moment, I’d say my muse has a favorite Bible verse. It’s from the Gospel of Luke. It’s the “judge not and you shall not be judged” part.
I have to admit I have a tough time with this. Other people can be so stupid, so crass, so self-centered and inconsiderate. I can’t help but feel a teeny bit judgmental. I think it may be part of human nature. We can’t help but judge each other.
But the muse does not accept my “human nature” excuse. Every time I start to get judgy, my muse reminds me that I am a writer.
As a writer, I have a responsibility to see how everyone is the hero of their own story (or at least I have a responsibility to try). No matter what horrible things my gut instinct may tell me about other people, other people have their own reasons for doing what they do or being the way they are. Other people have backstories. Other people have motivations. They have needs and wants, and maybe their needs are in conflict with their wants. And they have inner monologues that, regardless of what I might think, must make logical sense to them.
This is not meant to be a Bible-themed blog post. This isn’t about being a better Christian. It’s not even about being a better human being. This is simply a matter of becoming a better writer, because if you can learn to sympathize with other people in real life, then, miraculously, your readers will find it easy to sympathize with the characters you put into your stories.
At least that’s what my muse keeps telling me.
Next time on Planet Pailly, the Earth orbits the Sun… right? Right?