Listening is Key
It makes me happy to know that I've helped someone along their way. At times, I'm known to give into chaos when it strikes. I'll even have fits of wanderlust or get the urge to stand on my head. Sometimes I might even tell someone that they need to learn to step up to the plate and grow a pair, but most of the time I'm a nice person despite my flaws. I will always be patient enough to give advice to those I care about, even if they have their fingers in their ears.
Sadly, because of this, I sometimes fall into the category of counselor to friends or family. Nothing hurts me more than knowing someone I care about is going through a rough time and can't see the forest from the trees. At times I want to show them the path. I want to put a sign in the ground and paint in big bold red letters "THIS WAY CHUMP" and hope that they follow. Usually people tend to go their own path, and that's wonderful, but occasionally I get the great chance of watching them take a look at that sign and head the exact way that it points. I might wave at them as they walk by too, cheering them on with confetti and streamers. Sometimes my advice helps and other times it doesn't, but that's life right? At one point or another we all wanted to help someone who was down on their luck and they 'effed off.
In a lot of ways I use writing as a cathartic dump of all the crud that's happened to me in my life when others were too busy to paint me a sign or just weren't ready to listen: and that's okay. I don't always need reassurance and being independent is in my nature.
With writing, I feel like I get the chance to explore the part of myself that is building a network of images, scenes, and connections inside my mind that are waiting to explode in a flurry of words and emotions. My characters and worlds are a part of everything that I've experienced in my life. They are filled with the laughter, tears, love, insanity, and passion I feel. All the things I've wanted and all the things I've had to deal with in my life. All the people I've loved and all the people I've wanted to toss off a cliff. (I'm nice, I swear.)
Listening has been an excellent tool in my life, even if people used me more than once as a filter for their emotions, I always learn something. Either about them or about human behavior in general. Taking the time to listen and really read between the lines is a fantastic way to gather information for the worlds and characters I create and a chance to be a friend.
In a way, I feel that with writing I'm getting the chance to be heard by so many people out there that might be interested in what I have to say. They'll either like what I have to say, or hate it, but they get to experience exactly what goes on in my head. Sharing with readers and other writers is great encouragement (and material). Thanks guys and gals, those who do read my babbling words. Thanks for listening to me and giving me a chance to share my craziness with you.