My sweet friend, Heidi, has this thing about giraffes. You’ll have to ask her therapist for the details but her tall-necked aversion means that every single time I see a giraffe, I think of Heidi.
On Wednesday, I stumbled across a paper mache giraffe collapsed in the back of a truck. (Yeah, these kinds of things really do happen in Portland.) I pulled over, parked the car, and ran back to snap a picture for her.
When I was younger I was a ballet dancer. For every birthday, I got ballet-themed gifts–earrings, t-shirts, books, teddy bears wearing tutus. It was my thing.
Now I got sick of the pink satin shoes, and Heidi probably gets sick of the giraffe references (especially since she thinks they’re creepy), but I realize that obsessions are good for writers.
These are the quirky things that find their way into our work. They are the topics we sink our teeth into and just can’t let go. I love documentaries about people’s obsessions–competitive scrabble, beauty pageants, Dr. Bronner’s magic soap. Our obsessions go hand in hand with our creativity. They help us get our weird on and that is what leads to authentic voice.
So… what’s your thing?