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?
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.
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 an inspired 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.