I don’t normally participate in the daily prompt, I prefer to write about what I planned to write about. I suppose one could tailor the post to fit, but that seems so contrived somehow.
Fortunately, this week I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about. Fortunately, daily prompt came to my rescue. This prompt is perfect because so much of my life has been about pretending.
As a child I spent much of my time in a pretend world, I suppose that’s why writing novels, especially fantasy, came so naturally. Not the technique of writing a novel properly, but the creative process.
Even now, I may not be daydreaming all the time (though I often am), but much of my life is pretend. I pretend I know what people mean. I pretend I didn’t hear what someone said across the hall from me. I pretend I really want to write a blog post on the one day I reserve as a homework-free zone. I pretend I’m absorbed with whatever I’m listening to on my Ipod, and not listening and watching out of the corner of my eye.
That may sound a bit creepy, but we writers are observers. How can we replicate life if we do not observe it?
Besides, as Patrick Hood is fond of pointing out “it’s not eavesdropping if I can’t help it.”
It is only in observing other people that we realize that everyone is pretending. Pretending they’re really listening, pretending to pay attention in class, pretending everything’s okay. Sometimes, you also find out they’ve been watching you, too.
Pretending is necessary to the writer’s craft. Writers must know how to pretend, or else I suppose just write non-fiction.
But everyone pretends. Everyone sees that other people are pretending, at least if they care enough to look.
We are peculiar people.