On Making The Fake People

On Making The Fake People

Figure 1: This is my kid when she was two. This has nothing to do with writing, really, except she looks bossy.


I love this post by Christa Desir. Especially the parts about feeling inferior to other writers in terms of work output.

I love that she said she backs away from the computer and does something else when things are sucking.

I love that, merely because that’s what I do, too. I love it when someone clearly articulates their experience and it’s similar to mine. (Love that in life, love that in books. La la la…)

Here are some other confessions:

I don’t write every day.

I barely have one idea at a time.

I confess to not understanding subtext.

I don’t outline unless forced to by a 3rd party.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with book talk or writer talk or shop talk and I want to put my fingers in my ears and remain this noob, this greenhorn who knows nothing.

When writing is going well, it makes me want to smoke lots of cigarettes. I don’t smoke at the moment. BUT OH MAN. IF ONLY.

When I’m not writing, it’s mostly because I don’t know what the fuck to do next. Because I’m not ready.

When I’m ready, everything goes fast. Isn’t that better? Wouldn’t you rather wait until the last possible second before you crapped your pants? Versus going into the bathroom and PUSHING something out? Sorry to be gross, but that’s what ‘making yourself write’ feels like to me. I’ll do it when I’m goddamn good and ready, I think.

Sometimes, though, the answer is to write and see what happens, of course. So negate above statement.

I realize that I’m kind of a 38-year-old brat about this shit.

All my characters are me. Or someone I know or once knew. I don’t make up anything original, really.

The moral of the story?  You have to figure all this shit out on your own. No one will ever care about it as much as you do. But there’s not one way, really, to make up the Fake People. If you want it enough, you will do it.

And if you don’t want it enough, then be glad. Because Christa also makes another good point: being a writer is 24/7. No weekends, no holidays. Those fucking Fake People don’t leave you alone.



  • Ela Harrison on Jun 01, 2013 Reply

    Carrie, I always so appreciate reading your take on things. Your style and mode of expression are so different from mine and this means they offer me so much–it’s like stepping into a house that’s been decorated with colors and furniture and music unlike any I’ve seen before. Which is a repeatable experience.
    I also love how you wield scatology. And yes, diarrhea is _always_ better than retentiveness. (The old word for constipation (a word I loathe): “costiveness”!!)

    • Carrie Mesrobian on Jun 02, 2013 Reply

      I’m glad you appreciate this, Ela. You must know your approach to writing also fascinates me, as well.

  • Sarah Ahiers on Jun 01, 2013 Reply

    When I finally figured out that it was okay to listen to my own process (ie, not necessarily writing every day. Sitting on an idea for a year or longer, writing a beat sheet) instead of trying to follow someone else’s, writing got a lot easier for me. And anything that makes it easier is awesome, imop

    • Carrie Mesrobian on Jun 02, 2013 Reply

      I suppose it’s good that writers share how they do their writing. But when they get prescriptive or say that you must do this or can’t do that – that’s not going to work.

      I read this book called Mamaphonic which was about women artists and writers and it was discussing the whole 1000 words a day trope, which some Man Writer said was the Rule. And it was like, yeah, but you don’t have to worry about the kids or the house bc you’re an Old White Man Writer with a wife and stuff. So shut up. Other people have to cobble together whatever they can. We all don’t have little huts out in our little forests where we can go contemplate and smoke our pipes.

  • Pat Schmatz on May 31, 2013 Reply

    Yes and yes. The Fake People, whatever parts are not me, are stolen from friends and acquaintances and whoever rode the bus with me in middle school and especially kids in the classrooms I visit (I do warn them – “I’m spying on you – I might steal anything you say or do”).

    And can I just say…Theme? Huh?

    • Carrie Mesrobian on Jun 02, 2013 Reply

      I love the fact that I will write 50,000 words and still not know what I’m talking about. Or trying to do. Writing fiction is such a soup sandwich.

  • Matthew MacNish on May 31, 2013 Reply

    Is it going to ruin everything if I tell you some of us who are ACTUAL greenhorns kind of look up to you?

    I’m not joking. I know, I usually am joking, but right now I’m not.

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