Monday, July 27, 2009

The Power of Magical Thinking

If I use only the pink pencil, it will be a good day.

If I don't check my email until 9:30, the email I want will be waiting.

If I wear something with flowers, it won't rain.

Ever think like that?

I've been pondering superstitions lately. My new MC is very superstitious--trying, I think, to have some semblance of control where she really has very little. I admit I have a few irrational superstitious thoughts myself. When something awful happened the day I tried a new shampoo, I half-jokingly blamed it on the shampoo (but see if I used that shampoo again for a long time!). Sometimes I wear particular colors for a reason, hoping for good luck about something (hint: each book has a color).

These thoughts can make me feel a little crazy, but I've heard many other writers claim similar superstitions. Maybe, like my MC, we're in a situation we have no way of controlling, a kind of magical voodoo. Bundled with that whole "overactive imagination," it feels valid that if we've done all the WORK we can possibly do, it doesn't hurt to indulge in a few routines or bargains that might help.

Or am I alone in my superstitious insanity? Are you like me, vaguely superstitious--or even like my MC, VERY superstitious?

What kinds of things are you superstitious about?

I'm curious, but I also reserve the right to anonymize your superstitions for fictional purposes. After I hop 3 times and make the toss into the trashcan, of course. :)


Tiffany Schmidt said...

My MC is VERY superstitious too... and as I found myself writing it, I started adopting her eccentricities. Consider yourself warned. :)

Precie said...

Well, I don't know about superstitious...but I do tend to favor certain objects at certain times...a certain kind of pen when I grade essays, a certain blazer for special professional events, etc. I choose them not just for overt appropriateness, though...something in my head tells me those specific items are especially important for that purpose.

Linda G. said...

Writers superstitious? Why, I'm sure I don't know WHAT you're talking about. ;)

Anonymous said...

My MC would quickly tell your MC that there is no evidence whatsoever to support superstitious behavior. :)

I'm not QUITE as bad. I might think that, but not verbalize it. And every time I fly, I have to wear this one necklace S gave me when I turned 16... ;)

pseudosu said...

I'm not really superstitious, but it does seem like taking a bathroom break sometimes makes the phone ring...