“Life is Good.” – The Dangers and Delights of Magical Thinking

It’s hard, I think, for writers to be happy. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it’s hard for us to admit that we are happy.

You see we live in this world only part time, experiencing life as a really great time-share between reality and fantasy. We are here for the big things, and many of the sweet little moments as well, but that dreamy look on our faces, that sideways stare that lasts too long, those are sure-fire signs that we are taking a little trip to someplace else. Be patient, we’ll be back soon.

And in that other place things work very differently than here. Villains get punished, lovers reunite, ducklings become swans and the other shoe always, always drops. Things work that way because that is what makes a good story, and stories are what we are all about.

The downside? Sometimes we writers come back from our other homes and we bring this Magical Thinking with us. We run the real danger of trying to apply those Magical Rules to our real lives, or worse, living in fear of them.

It’s something that I struggle with every day, and today when a friendly acquaintance asked me the innocent question of “How are you doing?” I nearly choked on my own answer.

“Well,” I heard myself say. “I’m not sleeping at all. I’m busier teaching than I’ve ever been, the baby is draining all my energy and I’ve got a book deadline in February that I’m only half-convinced I can make. But strangely enough,” and here’s where the real shocker hit, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Life is good.”

Boy it takes a lot of effort not to look up in the sky for that big shoe.


3 Responses to ““Life is Good.” – The Dangers and Delights of Magical Thinking”

  1. I’ve been there. I visit ‘there’ on a biweekly basis. Child woes and planning woes and work and writing deadlines and all that, and yet I’m still utterly satisfied with how things are and where they’re going? What gives?

  2. This post made me smile throughout!

  3. LOL! Oh, I SO get that! I gave myself a concussion once (and innumerable bruises over the years) because I forget that while “I” am in that other world, my body is still in this one. I walk into walls and all sorts of things! But it’s a life like no other, and I often wonder how “the others” can live with only one world. Perhaps some of the best days are when you look up, see the shoe falling, prepare to scurry out of the way, then notice in fascination that the shoe is drifting slowly down on a Mary Poppins umbrella! 🙂

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