Friday, December 20, 2013

Making Time for The Voices in My Head

My head is a crowded place these days, even more so than usual. I'm one of those weirdos who walk around talking to imaginary people. Most of the time the conversations take place in my brain, although sometimes the words slip out into real life. (Putting your hand to your ear is a great remedy when this happens - people just assume that you're talking on a headset...)

I love the voices in my head. Some would tell you that I'm nuts, which isn't far from the truth, but talking to imaginary folks is one way I work through story lines, "hear" dialogue, and learn about my characters. We find creative ways to kill other imaginary people and then to catch the murderers. Or not. It's the part of the writing process that I enjoy most. So having noise and distraction whirling around my brain are the norm for me.

But lately, it's gotten worse.

I can only blame it on the time of year and how busy we are. My husband is a musician and December is his busiest rehearsing and gigging month by far. Add holiday parties (and several birthday parties) to the mix, family gatherings, and gift shopping and wrapping, and time seems to whip by at supersonic speeds! It's wonderful and I wouldn't trade the time or experiences for anything, but I'll bet you know exactly the kind of joyful exhaustion it brings.

 
All this activity has invaded my already crowded head with its lists, its preparations, its late nights. And it's intruding on my "alone time" with my characters.

You know what? I've found that I miss it, that I actually need that time with my imaginary friends to maintain my sanity. Strange, eh? There's something about talking with fictional people that's soothing. For some reason, they're a balance to the season's joyful exhaustion. I feel more rested if I take time to listen to them, and I'm probably a nicer person overall if I've had a chance to chat with my imaginary friends.

This year's holiday season will soon draw to a close and I'm looking forward to getting back into my less crowded head and letting my characters have more space. And next year, I'll do a better job of making time for me and my imaginary friends. So, how do you cope with the season's busy-ness?


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