Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Secret of Writing

I had a number of imaginary friends as a child, but the two most prominent characters in my imaginary life were Jonny and Crystal. They were brother and sister and lived in a house on my street. The real residence of the house never seemed to be home, and in my mind I knew children needed to live there. So I invented some.

I knew that Jonny and Crystal weren’t real people, I just loved making up stories about them. I would think of situations that I wished I could experience, but the things I thought of never seemed to happen to me. I didn’t want to lie and claim these thins had happened to me, but I still wanted to tell people about the adventure I dreampt up. So I told people that they happened to Jonny, and Crystal, and their friends.

When my friends at school asked me why they didn’t know Jonny and Crystal, I explained that they attended private school. Over time my tales became more and more outlandish, and soon everyone knew Jonny and Crystal were not real people. As I got older my pears began to tease me about my stories. Telling me I was to old to have imaginary friends. I decided that I wasn’t to old for Jonny and Crystal, but Jonny and Crystal were to old for me. So they moved to Palm Springs – that is where people move when they get old after all.

After Jonny and Crystal moved away, I became overwellmingly curious about what they were doing in Palm Springs. Where they making new friends? Where they going on new adventures without me? About a week after their moving van pulled out of town I recieved a letter, written in my own illegable handwriting, from Jonny and Crystal. Over the next few years, Jonny and Crystal wrote me numberous letters telling me all about their exciting new lives. I delighted in retelling their adventures to my living friends.

Eventually I started writing stories about other people – and I stopped claiming to know my fictitious characters. But the day I got that first letter in the mail, I knew I would become a writer. Because I knew the secret. Writing is nothing more than a socailly acceptable way to play with your imaginary friends, and I have always had a lot of imaginary friends.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

AMEN! Here's to hearing voices in your head!