"Tell me one last thing," said Harry. "Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"--Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling.
The characters go everywhere with me. Characters I've read about, characters I dream about, characters that scream at me and nag me until I let them speak through the tips of my fingers. The more they speak, the more they want to speak. I write to quite them enough to function. Yes, they are real to me even though they live inside my head.
For a writer, or for me anyway, writing is like any other bodily function. If I don't write I become bloated with words and uncomfortable. It is a need, a necessity. I don't write to be published (although that is the goal), I write because I have to.
Now where is that candy C was talking about?