Wednesday, March 2, 2011

finally, some thoughts about writing.

Step #1.  Go to the library.  Check.

Step #2.  Locate nook.  If occupied, locate next available nook (there are several to choose from, here).  Check.

Step #3.  Drink white chocolate/macadamia nut latte.  Double check.

Step #4.  Disconnect from the internet.  Um... no check.

Step #5.  Write with abandon.  For the first time in two weeks, check.

Step #6.  Have an interesting thought.  Take a break to blog about it.  Unfortunate check.

This is usually how it goes for me.  My brain gets so excited, thoughts start going out all over the place.  It's the opposite of how I focus on something.  I remember learning that women can concentrate on or notice multiple things at a time, like they have millions of antennae coming out of their brains.  On the other hand, men generally only concentrate on one thing at a time, like they just have one big tube on their forehead that sucks up the information right in front of them.  Well, if this is the defining quality of gender, then I am a very confused girl.  I have remarkably few detail-receptors gathering information from all around me.  I have the man-tube.  I am a horrible multi-tasker.  Reading more than one book at a time feels like a thrill ride.  I don't really know what's going on around me, especially if I am particularly absorbed in something else.

But writing today was different, somehow.  I mean, the man-tube (the more I type that, the more awkward it sounds) is definitely in action.  I can't STAND ambient noise, especially in the form of children.  I am either going to be a horrible mother one of these days, or realize how horrible I was before becoming one.  Probably both.  I usually can't stand to listen to music, either, though today I did.  I think I have two qualifications for that:  it must be instrumental only, and it must be relatively unfamiliar, lest I get annoyed.  Also (okay, three qualifications), if one song works, I have to play it over and over again until the mood changes, and then find another song.  If there's not a song that fits the mood of what I'm writing, I can't listen to anything.  Boy, am I picky.  In six months of drafting (has it been that long?), I've only listened to music about twice, so that proves it.  But it really worked today, so that was... sort of fun.  And really weird.

Who am I, all of a sudden?

And then I started thinking about things.  So, I have a completely unrelated question for all you writerly-types out there:  What the heck makes boys cry?  I mean, I was about in tears writing just now, and so it seemed super-natural (not to be confused with supernatural) for my character to cry, as well.  But... but... he's a boy, and boys don't cry, right?  Do boys cry?  Over being reunited with their family?  Is that something that would make a boy cry?  Wouldn't I get mad if I read this from someone else and the boy didn't cry?  Or would I get annoyed that he did?  [If you can't guess, I married a very non-emotional boy.  We make a bizarre pair.]  OH MY GOSH!  WHAT MAKES BOYS CRY?!?!

According to the majority of my Google-image findings,
the only boys who cry are under 12,
impoverished, or artistically rendered.
With one possible exception:

This came with the explanation, "Stock photo,"
meaning it was likely staged (thus, artistically rendered).
You can't even see his face.  Is this a real thing?
Or only an idea perpetuated by
 emotional women trying to write male characters?

Think back to high school, Julie.  What made boys cry then?  You had enough guy friends to see it happen.  Hmm.  Death?  Accepting Christ?  Yes, those things.

Anything else?

Someone help me before I turn this into more of a crisis than it is.

Step #7:  Publish post, get over the thought, and go back to previous writing.  Hopeful check.


  1. I think it's a myth that boys don't cry. My dad has been known to cry at "You've Got Mail." I think they just cry over different things than we womenfolk. Girls tend to cry when they're frustrated and angry, or feeling helpless. We cry over a lot more than just plain being sad. I think we cry over ourselves more, too. We cry a lot, and so when we see guys only crying 1-2 times a year, we find it strange. Unemotional. I don't think either one is bad, and there are definitely guys that cry more than others and girls that cry less. It's all pretty interesting.

  2. My husband is emotional, as far as men go. He doesn't cry about a lot of things, but if he feels the need, he's not afraid to do it. Let's see, what makes him cry...mmm...feeling the spirit, childbirth, saying goodbye to family to move across the country.

    I have a theory that the men who hold back tears don't know how to handle them when they come. You see it on reality shows, like Survivor, when they see their family members and the big tough guys are bawling uncontrollably.

    Oh, and Julie, you would HATE my house! Four kids running around and screaming. I wish I had a man tube to block the chaos.

  3. Jeigh: Oh, maybe I wouldn't HATE it. But I definitely would not be able to write there. :)

    Thanks for the input, friends.

  4. what makes some guys cry...helplessness against potentially terminal disease in someone they love or themselves, maybe. Death of a parent or child that is very much loved. Extreme regret. Shame. Unfulfilled dreams or prayers, questioning, "God why?" Feeling totally unloved or worthless by/to a parent....


You like to comment? I like to respond!
Either by email or on your blog, starting... now!