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Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Kelly Jamieson

Why writing is better than therapy

I’m a worrier. I love to worry. In fact, I worry on purpose. It’s how I feel in control. If you worry about something enough, it won’t happen. It’s the things you don’t worry about, that you never even dream about, that get you.

When I’m flying, I worry that the plane will crash. I once traveled across the North Sea on a boat. The sea was rough that night and the boat was heaving and tossing. I stayed awake all night worrying that the boat would tip over and we would all drown. I saved our lives by doing that.

I worry about my kids, that they’ll get hurt or killed. When my husband is out late, I worry that he’d been an accident. I imagine the whole scene of going to the hospital and what we’ll do if he dies.

Perhaps a little psycho? I think psychologists might call it a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. But get this: since I started writing, I don’t worry nearly as much. In fact, it scares me how little I worry. My kids are now teenagers. Do I lay awake at night waiting for them to get home? No! (And feeling a little guilty about that, because aren’t moms supposed to do that?)

My theory is that my imagination needed an outlet. So I made up terrible stories of doom. Now that I use my imagination for good instead of evil, I think I’m a much happier person. I’m prone to insomnia, and now rather than laying awake worrying about what I forgot to do at work, or how we’re going to come up with the money for the new furnace, I write stories in my head. I do some of my best work lying in bed at night (if only I could remember it the next day, LOL).

Of course, I just went on a trip to California, and had sweaty palms the entire way there and back on the plane. So I’m not totally over it…but I’m better!


Cathy M said...

Hi Kelly, I totally get it. It gives you a sense of control over what is an uncontrollable situation. Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

It probably helps that you can make your characters completely miserable and they wind up happy and stronger in the end.

Kytaira said...

I guess whatever works! I had to laugh over this part *use my imagination for good instead of evil* I had visions of Superhero Kelly.

I've taken the opposite tact. I think that you draw to you what you think. Think happy thoughts and you will be happy. Bad thought and I intentionally think of something else. I have to agree with your theory about your imagination needing an outlet. Makes sense!

Kelly Jamieson said...

Thanks for the comments!You're right Cathy, it's the control. And Nara, I'm getting better at torturing my characters. Kytaira, I like you're attitude - think happy thoughts!