Monday, May 14, 2012

Sheldon and Me

I've recently discovered The Big Bang Theory. In the few monthssince it's been on my radar, it's become my new favorite thing, ever. For those of you who aren't familiar with the show, it's about four socially inept scientists who form a friendship with a cute waitress/struggling actress. One of the scientists is a neurotic, self-absorbed, too-smart-for-his-own-good physicist named Sheldon.

Sheldon is my favorite character.

He says the things we'd all like to say but never do because our social sensibilities tell us not to. Despite his many issues (or maybe because of them), there's something childlike and oddly endearing about him. More than that, I think I like Sheldon because I identify with him a little.

Now I'm no physicist, and I sure hope I don't come off as a high maintenance know-it-all (I'll take the oddly endearing, though). You see, Sheldon can be a bit obsessive. He tends to fixate on certain things. Like when he gets stuck on a scientific problem. Or how he can't stand it when someone doesn't answer their phone. Or the time he thought his neighbor's recycled chair was infested with bugs.

See what I mean? He just can't let stuff go.

Writing is a lot like this for me. I get to a certain point and then I can't go any farther because I get hung up on something stupid like, "This sentence bugs me. Why can't I find the right adverb to describe exactly how he picks up that pencil?" or "Gah! This scene isn't turning out at all like that perfect vision in my head," or "But I don't know all the details of this character's back story! How can I know what she'll do in this situation until I figure out whether she liked to eat Froot Loops or Cocoa Puffs for breakfast when she was ten? Oh mighty Muse, WHAT DO I DO?! WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!?"

Little stuff like that. I know it's crazy. I know first drafts are supposed to be full of mistakes and I can always go back and fix everything later. But like poor Sheldon, I have a hard time letting stuff go.

I think a little bit of obsessiveness is good for a writer. How else do you get the gumption to slog from that first spark of an idea all the way through the Miserable Middles to the bitter happy end? The trick is to find a healthy balance. I just hope I figure out how to do that before I end up like THIS. Janiel and Russo have my back, but it'd still be way embarrassing if they had to come fish me out of a ball pit in the middle of the night.

What about you? Are there any fictional characters who remind you of yourself in one way or another?

Originally posted January 9, 2012.


Janiel Miller said...

Oh, I SO want to fish you out of a ball pit. Heck, I think we should have our next writer's group meeting in a ball pit. I love Big Bang--Sheldon most of all. I can assure you, you have the endearing, not the high maintenance know-it-all.

Fictional characters who remind me of me? Hmmm. My husband would say Everyone In Ireland. But those are real people, so . . . Niles Crane. Not the fussy-pot stuff. The foot-in-mouth naive neurotic stuff. Yep. Niles.

densleyjazzfan said...

Laughing, laughing and yelling bazinga.

densleyjazzfan said...

Scotty's giggling like a girl over UR post. Loveing my gnome girls. From:Brandis

William Kendall said...

Will I get a smack upside the head if I admit I've never watched the show?

Janiel Miller said...


Maegan Langer said...

Double *smack*
William, you must remedy that immediately.

Russo said...

I love The Big Bang Theory- I agree with you Sheldon is my fave character and johnny galeki is hottness, loved him in Roseanne.

You know I got your back, girl. I'd come thru the germ infested balls just to help you. Although come to think of it, I might just jump in with ya and have some fun with ya too. Goll, I don't even remember the last time I was in a ball pit. Oh, yeah-College.

PS- I love the clips that you added. So freaking funny.

Russo said...

I still adore this post, I am glad you put it back up there because I needed to sit here and giggle over "bazinga."