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What do you like about people?

More Essays on Writing from my Orangeberry Book Tour

When I first saw this essay topic I chuckled to myself. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am incredibly reclusive, and am generally more comfortable with the company of my three dogs than a room full of people.

Which is not a bad thing for someone whose occupational requirements entail spending hours in front a computer, working in quiet, with only a little background music cable news for white noise.

And yet.

As a writer, I must my imagination is full of people, since they make up the characters that populate my stories and their wants and needs and foibles must be as real as my own or my friends, or I don’t have a story to tell.

Which is why it’s good to have an active imagination. But also why it’s necessary for me to leave my home office once in a while, or more, and get out and interact with real live humans. And why it’s even more important for me to have friends and family and relationships that have ups and downs and evolve over time, just like they do in stories.

For the record, spending endless hours on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t count. While both venues are a wonderful way to exchange greetings, share information, or simply blow off steam, they lack the depth of face-to-face interactions that we need to fully express our range of emotions. I’ve yet to experience that wonderful story-arc of friendship through any strictly online venue.

In the end, what we really need is human interaction in the real time-space plane. From there we can blossom and then have something to share. Which is why, despite all my introversion, I treasure the time I spend with friends and family.

What makes a compelling story is the ability to capture the worries and joys that we have in real life and share them with others who are experiencing the same. In doing so, we no longer feel alone. Our life experiences are shared through our stories.


Melissa Amateis said…
I am a recluse, as well. I get my "people fix" by working at the day job, though. Actually, it's more people than I need on a daily basis, but for now, that's how it is. :)

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