Are writers human in the same way?

A couple more scenes should do it for my Haunted Man story. Then I have to edit the sucker before next Thursday’s writers’ group.

So here’s what is wrong with writers, we live secondarily. No matter what happens to us we have this voice that says, “Oh this is good, I can use this.” I have heard it compared to a large net we drag around behind our head and all of the stuff that gets caught in it can work its way into our stories.

Last week my 1.5 yr old daughter had an allergic reaction to a cashew. We rushed her to Immediate Care and she got some Benadryl and steroids. We were in the room for a while as they kept checking on her. I was worried, but as I started looking around the room, noticing the sharps containers, the armature lamp from the ceiling, the cabinet marked Urinary Catheters, the voice started talking. You see there is a scene in the story I’m working on that I was just about to write that takes place in a room very like the one I was in.

So I was horrified to be there and see my poor daughter all swollen and red, but I was also writing down details. My wife said, “What are you doing?” And I told her, without looking up, I have a scene in a room like this.

She was not impressed. So, are writers monsters? Are we just separated a bit from normal humanity? I feel like normal people feel the things that happen to them, and writers feel them and then say in our heads, “What is it about this that makes me feel this way on an elemental level? How can I capture it and make others feel it?” Are you still feeling it if you look at it that way, I mean really feeling it?

Feel free to post your thoughts.

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