I AM My Character … and That’s Okay

I had an epiphany earlier this evening. 

I find that if  I let my mind spew then wander, I answer my own questions, find my own direction again. 

The other day I was sooo concerned about writing stories that sounded like me but weren’t me but were me but not really. At first thought, that bothered me. I didn’t want every character to be me. That’s a legitimate concern of most writers.

But, in my case, I see now I wanted these stories to BE me. 

I wanted to be the one who traveled back in time, the one who was taken to another planet to take the place of a dead queen. This common-sense-that-I-don’t-always-have made me realize that, in this case, I might be making a mountain out of the proverbial mole hill. 

The reason for this epiphany was that on my drive home today I started thinking about going to Paris for a week next year, and how I doubt that I will go. There are a number of reasons for this pre-decision, and nothing is set in stone yet, but you kinda know if you’ve got a chance or not.

I was going to write of my adventures, my visits to cafes and libraries and shops and bridges. What a wonderful journal it was going to be.

So does that mean that if I can’t go I can’t go?

Does that mean that just because I can’t walk the streets myself and eat the croissants and touch the gargoyles I can’t walk the streets and eat the croissants and touch the gargoyles anyway?

Since it seems I’ve already traveled through time and space, why can’t I take this trip, too? Maybe cut my hair, make myself a little thinner, but be the same person exploring new worlds?

Maybe when I sit and look at the glass pyramid at the Louvre I can sit and talk with a young funny Parisian, or fall in love for a couple of evenings with a roguish French man or watch Hemingway drink at a back table at Café du Dôme. I can slip a Hermes scarf into my purse and not get caught, or have dinner at Seb’on without having to pay.

Who will know that lead character is me besides you and me and my friends and family?

You see — I can do all that. Without guilt, without explanation. I can be me and not be me. I can research and look at pictures and watch old movies and visit Paris on my own terms. I can get lost without getting lost. Talk to strangers without talking to strangers.

Being myself in my story is actually a win/win situation.

I am starting to think about starting a new book. A book with a little adventure, a little flirting, and a little café au lait.

Don’t let your inability to go somewhere, to attend something, stop you from doing research and doing it through your art. Through your painting, your writing, your sketching. Whatever world you create for yourself. There is always a way through the clouds.

Artists always find a way.

 

9 thoughts on “I AM My Character … and That’s Okay

  1. Claudia, I read this when you first posted it and I was really looking forward to your imaginary wanderings in the Paris you dream of. Then I read your “beginning of retirement” post today, and that you are feeling stuck on that project. I just wanted to tell you that after you have had some time to decompress, I do hope you can get further with this idea.
    (And like others of your readers, I felt guilty about not going to work for a few years after I retired.)

    Like

    1. You make me feel good. I’m not sure I could make Paris alone for a week, but there IS a version of me out there who could! And she/me could really have a great, imaginative time. You are right..just need to regroup first.

      Liked by 1 person

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