Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

9 Reasons All Writers Are Weird (And Damn Proud Of It!)

Have you ever met a person who will stare at a blank page for hours, days even, only to write one single, solitary sentence and then rewrite it a thousand times over and when finally “done,” still doubt that it’s good enough and yet they still express an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment?

writer-weird

Writers are weird. There’s no way around it. No sugar coating it. And you know what? That’s what makes us great: Our remarkable weirdness.

1. We dare to wear pajamas all day long.

You know it’s true. Don’t hide it. Be proud. When we wake up with a brilliant idea, we can’t be bothered with getting dressed. Fire up that computer, make coffee (or whatever your preference is) and Typity Type Type. As adults with responsibilities beyond just writing we don’t always have this luxury, but when we do… oh, how heavenly it is.

2. We forget to eat.

The best dieting plan for any writer is a good idea for a new book. Once I start writing I can lose complete track of time and sustenance.

3. We fall in love with anything that gives us inspiration to write.

The muse is not always another person; it can be a beautiful seashell, arrowhead, or a shiny rock polished by the sands of time. Whatever it might be, we fall head over heels in love with it and we will cherish it as our most precious ally in our quest to write what we are destined to write. Strange looks from others be damned! It’s the inspiration that matters. Right?

4. We love our readers! Critics be damned!

We have a love hate relationship with those who read our work. If you love it, you’re a cherished reader who we love with all of our scribbling hearts, but if you criticize our work, well… damn you, hater! It’s as simple as that. Anyone who says differently isn’t being honest with you or herself. Editors don’t get a free pass.

5. The best way to get back to writing is to get away from it.

This truly is a weird concept and that’s exactly why so many of us take so long to realize it. When I can’t write a word to save my life the best thing I can do is get up, get dressed and go for a nice long walk. And you know what? It can be a blizzard outside, tornadoes and winds roaring at upwards of 100mph, I’ll go for that walk anyway. I’m a writer and I’ll do anything to get back to writing.

6. We lose track of everything and anything.

As we get older we claim we’ve become minimalists, but the reality is that we are writers and we don’t need too much more than a good place to write and the basic tools necessary to do the work. That’s it. What more could you possibly want? Oh, sustenance. We covered that already.

7. We want to pick ourselves.

We relish the freedom of publishing our work on our personal blogs and self-publishing our own books. We don’t need anyone else. We can write and publish as freely as we wish. Ah, what freedom! Who needs anyone to pick us?

8. We still want someone else to pick us!

We can sell a million copies of our books, but if we are self-published we still want a respected publication to recognize our greatness and acknowledge us by publishing our work.

9. We live in perpetual self-doubt.

No good writer worth his or her salt is free of doubt. If you haven’t given up on a story, an idea or a novel because doubt kicked your ass to the curb, then you’ve still got work to do.

You don’t get to call yourself a writer until doubt has caused you to want to give up and quit writing for good, and then, of course, you struggle for a while until you find a great mentor, a compelling muse, or read the right inspirational book, and find your way back to writing.

weirdness-creative

Let’s get a little more serious for a moment….

Embrace Your Weirdness

We are willing to do what ordinary folk refuse to even consider. Nay, it’s more than that, if we’re honest, we relish doing what others will not do – what they will not even dream.

We bring fantasy to life, tell epic stories, and make the impossible seem quite possible.

Writers see the world differently. We see what’s extraordinary in the ordinary. We embrace our passions and allow ourselves to express the thoughts others consider strange, even forbidden.

We say NO to taboos and NO to what they say can’t be done. Nothing is off limits.

Nothing is impossible to the writer. In the worlds we create people can not only live in deep space, they can flourish and wield the force in a galaxy far, far away. We can travel to the center of the earth and find a world untouched by humans, thriving with creatures we thought long gone.

Those who do not understand, describe us as: Crazy. Strange. And, Bizarre.

Ha! What’s wrong with all that? Absolutely nothing.

Who wants to blend in? Not me. I want others to read my work. If that’s weird, well, then, I’m frigg’n bonkers!

They say we are lazy, that we’re wasting our time, that we’re not willing to pull up our sleeves and get to work. Such people who say these things allowed their creativity to be snuffed out long ago listening to the words of, “You can’t do it.” – “It won’t make you any money.” and “You need a real job.”

The truth is that really is insane. Writing is hard work. No one spends as much time, as much energy, and puts as much passion into their work as writers. Who else would spend hours, days, even weeks, to insure a sentence is perfect?

Too many rational people have convinced writers to stop writing, to hide their gift and live a more reasonable life. So they became writers in hiding. Their words suppressed within their hearts. Tragic. Boxed in. Ashamed. Embarrassed.

Don’t hide. Don’t hide your work. Don’t suppress your words. We need them. Self-suppression will hurt you in ways that will only lead you to lose any value in yourself. No. Don’t do that. It’s time to break free. It’s time to be a kid again and embrace ridiculousness and being different. Climb that tree – go as high as you can go.

You have an unmitigated imagination. You have talent and passion that should never be suppressed.

What would our world be like if these following authors had not written and shared their work?

Catcher in the Rye by  J.D. Salinger, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Sybil by Benjamin Disraeli, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Lord Of The Rings by  J. R. R. Tolkien, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Charlotte’s Web by EB White, Star Wars by George Lucas, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

You’re the writer. You see things others don’t and you’re willing to LIVE your passion, and that’s why they think you’re odd.

Okay, yes, you’re weird. Thankfully! You’re a writer. You know how to share what you see by writing about it for generations upon generations to read and cherish. Don’t grow old only to regret not sharing your wondrousness.

This is your moment. Take it. Write. Embrace your weirdness.

Weird is just another word for significant and remarkable.

Embrace your brilliance. Be authentic. Be weird.

Damn right.

Be proud.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • Terrific, Bryan. All your points spoke to me, but ESPECIALLY: We live in perpetual self-doubt. I had my first book signing this weekend and sold 74 BOOKS. It was magical, but I’m still in shock about it, like…SERIOUSLY?!

    I’ve wasted many years trying to appear “normal.” It’s both draining and boring. I’ve embraced my weirdness and am much happier now. 🙂

  • Suzanne Boles

    So true! I never felt like I fit in until I embraced my love of writing and became a freelance writer. I found an entire community of people just like me. Now I’m not weird, I’m normal. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this.

    • Excellent point. 🙂 You found your tribe.

    • Suzanne Boles

      Thanks Bryan. Great post.

  • You always make me laugh, Bryan. Yep, writers are a weird bunch. And it never changes–no matter how many books one’s had published. Felt both of these yesterday: ” We love our readers! Critics be damned!” Of course!

  • Christine Niles

    I thought I was the only one who forgot to eat! 😉

  • Miriam N

    Yes, writers are weird. We have a Write Club at our high school and I’m pretty sure we’ve scared many people off. Writer’s can get away with talking about torture, death of a character, revenge and a whole lot more without being insane. (ok maybe we are a little bit insane from time to time) I’ve learned to be weird and that’s where the most fun can be had. Though I’m very sweet and kind to my friends I have a killer evil laugh 🙂 I also forget to eat, ya know… every once in a while. 😉 Great post Bryan.

    • Thanks, Miriam. “that’s where the most fun can be had.” So true! 🙂

  • Rebecca Hricko

    Too true! As a kid, I was told by multiple people that I was weird… I guess I know why now!

  • Great post, Bryan. Have shared it. I particularly liked: ‘Okay, yes, you’re weird. Thankfully! You’re a writer. You know how to share what you see by writing about it for generations upon generations to read and cherish.’ Thanks for motivating writers to pursue their passions.

  • Fantastic article and a brilliant reminder to embrace my own “weirdness”. Love this part very much: “Don’t hide. Don’t hide your work. Don’t suppress your words. We need them.”

    • Exactly. Don’t hide! Keep writing. Keep pressing, “publish.”

  • Rory Haresnape

    Books and writers that were rejected by publishers over and over:
    harry potter – JK Rowling combined sales of 450 million.
    Dune – Frank Herbert
    animal farm – George Orwell “it is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA
    the diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank “the girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling that would lift the book above “curiosity” level.”
    lord of the flies – William Golding “it doesn’t seem to us that you have been wholly successful in working out an admittedly promising idea”
    lady Chatterley’s lover – DH Lawrence “for you’re own good do not publish this book.”
    lust for life – Irving Stone “a long dull novel about an artist”
    5 years of continual rejection, Agatha Christie. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.
    NEVER GIVE UP!

  • It’s easy to get discouraged though when you try to get endorsements and they take a little time. The doubts creep in and get louder and you’re even more tempted to give up. I have to write and I will write, but the rest of the stuff that goes along with it? Well I fight through those things. That’s how much I believe it what I have to say.

    Good article Bryan!

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