I was driving home from work today and doing what I do a lot of afternoons: listening to talk radio. Now before anyone gets any ideas about this post, I’m not going to be talking about anything on talk radio. I want to talk about what I found myself thinking about my listening to talk radio. There’s a difference.
Ten years ago, I never listened to talk radio. It was all music, all the time. When did it become necessary to listen to talk radio? My father listened to talk radio when I was a kid, and I hated it. Why is it playing in my car?
Because, unfortunately, we all grow up. We learn as we get older that we can’t simply bury our heads in the sand and ignore the outside world. Want to know why? Come in close and I’ll whisper it in your ear.
There is no outside world.
We live in the so-called “outside world.” It’s all ours, so we may as well stay informed about it, right?
When we’re young, we don’t understand all that, so we just ignore it, figuring that someone else will take care of everything for us. Well, that’s kind of true, but it doesn’t stay that way forever.
As writers, we create whole new worlds and people and places and interactions that we’d like to see, or maybe that we hope will come to pass, or maybe even that we don’t want to see; but we live in the here and now, and if we don’t recognize that, then we’re doomed to live in somebody else’s version of our world. As writer, I consider that akin to creating a world and then having to live in someone’s fan-fiction version of that world.
No. I guess it’s a control thing as I get older. When I was young, I thought that I controlled everything anyway, so I didn’t have to worry. Now I now better. I want my world, so I need to keep track of it and try to guide it if I can.
But I never want to find myself living someone else’s story.
I’d rather live mine.