When it comes to creating characters, some common advice is to ‘interview’ your character. Have a conversation with them in your head, ask them everything you want to know and make a note of what they say.

I’ve tried this and I suck at it.

And to figure out why, I conducted a mini interview with myself. 

The result? Lack of routine and discipline.

This came as a shock to me, I’m not going to lie as in many areas of my life I am a highly disciplined and routinised person. Here are some examples:

  • I have borderline OCD when it comes to pots being left overnight in the sink or on the draining board
  • Clean and fresh bedding is essential
  • I can’t stand to drink cold drinks which aren’t truly cold i.e. pre-chilled or iced
  • I clean my glasses every single morning
  • I always fuel my car to the maximum amount to save time refuelling the car more times than necessary
  • I follow the same morning routine on a weekday – getting up the same time, doing things in the same order and having precisely enough time to do all that I need to do including having a five minute sit-down before having to leave the house
  • I have to have my clothes organised in my wardrobe in a particular way 
  • I have to make sure I have a snack in my handbag whenever I leave the house and am going somewhere that isn’t work ‘just incase there’s no food where we’re going’ – like that will ever happen
  • And the same in relation to toilets – admittedly, it is more usual to have difficulty locating toilets than food
  • I have my own tea making facilities at work, I don’t like to share them and I wash my cup in a particular way that is unique to me every morning

Someone may read this and think this is all perfectly normal and someone else may read it and think finally, someone else like me!

From my perspective, I think the above examples do sit me firmly in the disciplined/routinised category…

However, during my mini interview with myself, I discovered that there is indeed a flip side – like there is I guess, with every ‘character’:

  • I do housework but in no particular order and on no particular day
  • I do not have the same devotion to the order of my kitchen cupboards that I do to the order of the clothes in my wardrobe
  • I do not pay any heed to sell by dates on food until I come to eat it and then inevitably end up throwing it in the bin
  • I don’t have a TV habit to speak of, before SkyPlus, I watched DVDs instead
  • There are no fixed meal times in our house, we eat our meals when we’re hungry – whatever time of the day or night
  • My bills get paid but I don’t reconcile my bank account monthly as I am led to believe it is good practice to do
  • I have a filing system with a pre-filing system i.e. a To Sort fiing pile which is then put into a Sorted Pile ready for filing which inevitably becomes a hybrid filing pile due to the lack of filing that I do
  • When I have free time, like today, I don’t do any of the above… I plan to do nothing and nothing inevitably gets done

See, wierd right? I’m like Jekyll and Hyde – ‘anal’ versus ‘organised chaos’. It may well be that someone reading this thinks that the above is perfectly acceptable and others are screaming aloud at the thought of untidy kitchen cupboards and a filing pile with a cabinet all of it’s own… (I can’t stand clutter – well, visible clutter).

I’m not saying that either of the two above lists are good or bad but they are somewhat conflicting. 

And now back to the point I started with – the character creation portion of my brain clearly resides on the same side as organised chaos. If I could only apply the same of regimented routine to this process as I do to my wardbrobe and contingency planning for the potential lack of food, I may stand a chance of actually creating a whole character.

So, as a result of this epiphany, I shall make a pledge. The next time that I have ‘free time’ I will plan to create a character and I will devote the same amount of rigour to this process as I do to the cleaning of my sink and draining board. 

But on second thoughts, this process has inadvertently created me a to-do list and perhaps I should plan to sort out my cupboards, empty and re-stock my fridge and do a check up on my bank account…

I’ll be lucky if anything ever gets done at this rate.