The surreal nature of a writer’s life.

The surreal nature of a writer’s life.

My friend mentioned that he found some of his life “surreal.” That stimulated me to think of what part of a writer’s life is real. We spend so much time creating an imaginary world where characters do and say things that feel real, and they need to feel real or no one will read them, that we might be tempted to blur the lines between reality and imagery. We come back to our everyday world and live it as though our imaginary world does not exist. We don’t talk about the book we are writing, at least I don’t, for fear that I will be too much influenced by the ideas of others and will lose confidence in my own story line. I keep that imaginary world in my mind and go back to it regularly until the novel is finished. I am quite sure that I know the difference between the real world and my imaginary world. Quite sure. Except once when I went looking for the charred field on the ranch where I lived. It hit me as I was setting off for the field that the fire was in a novel I’d written, not in the actual field. Oops. The lines got a little blurry there. I am convinced that usually writers have a very strong ego that is clear on the distinctions between reality and the imaginary. Of course, few people realize we live in that imaginary world for hours at a time. I’m not sure living in the imagination is considered robust mental health, but it suits me.