There’s an old joke that talking to yourself is fine until you start talking back. Whoever said that clearly was not a writer!
I remember being in college, and I’d gone home to visit my parents. I was working on the first draft of what would ultimately become The Desolation Trilogy, and I was working on a section of dialogue between two characters, working out the phrases and testing how I thought each character might sound …. and suddenly I got jolted out of my skin by my father’s voice.
“What the Hell is wrong with you??”
I turned around and realized he was standing behind me as I sat at my desk, and looking at me with an expression of bemused horror which clearly illustrated that the thought in his brain at that moment was: “my son has lost his ever-loving mind!”
I couldn’t help it; I started laughing at the look on his face. Once I’d gotten myself composed again I explained to him what I was doing and even let him look over my shoulder at the screen on my computer. He promptly started laughing too, and I tried not to be offended at the obvious relief on his face.
Over the years, I have found myself having to explain to more than one person why they heard me grimly having complete conversations with myself.
It’s a constructive kind of madness, and I’ve grown to enjoy it immensely. At least my wife understands.
Or, at least, she says she does!