Other people’s lives – their wants, their needs, their priorities, their pressing demands. Something like crowded venues with different bands playing in a variety of musical styles. You must enjoy the challenge or you wouldn’t find yourself dealing with conflicting urges, needs and agendas as often as you do.
Then, resounding silence, save for the sounds in your own head. Music, bits of dialogue, the odd stuffed-head feeling from an ear with issues. The transition back to your own writing. So much of dealing with other people involves distancing yourself from basic urges. Not telling someone to shut up, not saying how you feel about their performance or their behavior. Being reasonable, dependable, a presence others can count on. Others are more than happy to oblige. You must get some satisfaction from that, or you’d change your game, wouldn’t you?
Finding your way back to your own writing. Things are different here.
Yesterday morning, one of the boys wanted to “save” the fictional family they’ve invented by having the father win the lottery. Nope, I said. Too easy. Besides, going from dirt poor to millionaire might prove tricky. The notion money might be a problem took a while to sink in for him. Until it dawned on him the relatives would descend like a pack of starving wolves.
So. How to have real fun in imaginary circumstances. Real sadness. Real conflicts. Real heart-break. Real words, real comfort, real connection.
Three, two, one.