Friday, January 1, 2016

10 Reasons Why Writers Aren't the Weird Ones

Happy new year folks! Hopefully you accomplished many of your 2015 writing goals. If not, don't worry. That's what 2016 is for. Pretty neat, right?

To kick off the new year, I wanted to write a post about something that's been bothering me for a while: The idea that writers are just plain weird (and not in a good way). I mean, I understand that writers are a bit different, and I'm proud to wear the "weird writer" badge. But I'm always hearing derogatory remarks about the oddness of writers and readers. For example:

"Oh, don't mind her. She's a writer, so she gets odd ideas about things."

"Yeah, a lot of writers are crazy, so you gotta be careful to make sure you don't turn out like them."

"He's just a bit off. He spends too much time writing."

Sound familiar? Probably. We see it depicted in books and movies: the reclusive creative, the author struggling with alcoholism, the person who spends so much time writing that life passes them by.

And I've always found it hilarious because, from where I'm sitting, non-writers are just as strange (and just as likely to be crazy) as us creatives. My proof? Here are 10 reasons why writers aren't the weird ones:
  1. Writers aren't the ones confined to a single place and time. Writers get the opportunity to delve into new worlds and time periods whenever we want to. Not only does this expand the mind, but it feeds the soul. We're not the ones who sit in front of a TV or open a book and have thoughts and ideas fed to us. We're the ones who get to dig in and discover concepts for ourselves through putting words on paper. 
  2. Unlike most people, we get to go to work in our pajamas. Some say weird, some say lazy, but seriously? We all know that this is every sane person's dream. 
  3. We don't have to struggle with boredom. How can we be? Ideas are always hanging about us, just waiting to be snatched up and used. We can sit in one place for hours, just thinking, wondering, asking ourselves questions. Other people have to play with handheld electronic devices to stave off boredom. We don't. Which is good, because we really can't afford them anyway...
  4. We're good with words, so we don't look dumb on social media. You cannot use "their" in place of "they're." You just can't. Please stop trying. 
  5. Writers are like a mini, specialized, walking Google. Because it's a writer's job to know a little bit about everything and a lot about some things, we have some major stores of knowledge. Have questions about Mongolian mythology? Want to know how to put together a good sales pitch? Interested in learning about the Great Fire of London?  Need to learn how to work Twitter or Office Word? We're your people. What seems like random information to some can actually turn out to be very helpful. And it makes us look smart. Bonus! 
  6. We know how to have fun. Not only can we hold conversations in book and movie quotes, but we can appreciate spoofs like Galaxy Quest, are fine with running around Disneyland and bookstores like little kids, and are capable of wielding sarcasm like a sword. While non-writers can get really stressed and don't know what to do with it all, writers are able to switch on the fun when too much pressure arises. Why? Because we constantly have to immerse ourselves in alien worlds to write, so we can apply that "quick switch" concept to having fun. Okay, so maybe not all the time. We get upset and angry just like other people, in which case...
  7. When writers get angry, we can just kill off the objects of our anger. How? By writing it (be it a person, emotion, or problem) into a story and then smashing it to pieces. Okay, so maybe writing an acquaintance into a story and then pushing him off a cliff is a bit weird...But it's better than cold-blooded murder, right? Right? 
  8. Writing with this mug should give people fair warning, yes?
  9. We get to see things other people don't. We see messages, ideas, and stories in everything: the little girl crossing the street, that annoying crow that won't stop cawing. We can see beauty where nobody would think to look for it. So maybe we do live in a different world than most, but it's a great place to live. You should visit sometime.
  10. We have a legitimate excuse for watching netflix, drinking tons of caffeinated drinks, and having a strange search history. It helps with our creative process. What's your excuse? 
  11. We know we're weird. But we also know we're not weird in a bad way. In other words: Crazy people don't know they're crazy. We know we are crazy, therefore, we are not crazy. Isn't that crazy? 
So, really, we writers have a lot going for us. Sure, we're a bit bonkers. But not in a bad way. We just look at the world a little bit differently, and that's okay. We don't make fun of non-writers for not being able to identify a strong character arc. We think it's kind of cute when they overlook symbolism in a movie or see only one way to approach a problem. We see them as a bit odd, and they see us as weirdos. That's alright, because, at the the end of the day, the world needs both of us.

So, to the non-writers out there: please don't call us crazy for staring off into space or thinking about things a bit too hard. If you refrain from that. then we'll stop pointing out your atrocious grammar and affinity for misinterpreting story-lines....At least out loud, anyway. 

What about you? Can you list some fun, practical parts about being a writer? Leave a comment below! And if you're a non-writer, feel free to list some of the benefits to not having words constantly on your mind. 

Related articles:
10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being A Writer Until It's Too Late
12 Ridiculous Questions Non-Writers Ask Writers (And 12 Ways to Respond to Them)
15 Things I Love About Being A Writer

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19 comments:

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    1. Ha! Glad to see this struck a chord with you, Annie.

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  2. I can wholeheartedly agree with all of these, especially #5. Apparently not everybody knows what narwhals are. Actually, I can blame my knowledge of them on Zoo Tycoon, but they're among the many fascinating creatures out there. Though I'm not sure how they will fit into a story someday...

    On a more serious note, I can especially relate with #8. I like getting story ideas from odd and ordinary things alike.

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    1. Dude. Narwhals are amazing. The unicorns of the sea...only cuter. There's got to be a way to write a story about them. I'd be beyond excited if you ever find a way to make that work. =)
      Glad you enjoyed and identified with the post, Azelyn! Happy new year!

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  3. I do not identify with #2. I hate wearing pajamas during the day, even when I'm sick.

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    1. How interesting! I can see how wearing pajamas might make people feel less productive.

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  4. This is so good! I couldn't help noticing that all of them except for 7, 8, and 9 could easily apply to homeschoolers just as much as writers. :) Although, like Anna above, I don't like wearing pajamas in the daytime.

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    1. How funny! That is so true. I loved being homeschooled, so it's no wonder that one of my main hobbies shares similar traits. =) Thanks for the comment!

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  5. That mug is amazing. That is actually a really good idea to involve your currant struggles in your story. Then your story will come even more alive and you might just find the answer to your problem. If you can figure it out on paper, then you can live it out in life! :) This was super Hannah! Happy New Year!!!

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    1. Great point, Reigha. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is so that you have something to write about, share, and help others with. =) I hope you're having an awesome new year. Hugs!

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  6. Awesome list, Hannah! I'm using #8 for my blog challenge this year! Visit me at https://mappingsoulswithwords.wordpress.com!

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    1. Hey Katherine! Your blog looks wonderful. I'm excited to see what fun new posts you turn out. Happy new year!

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  7. Oh, I love this, Hannah :) We also get away with strange moods & mood swings (or, at least, I do, lol), because we can always blame it on our characters. They don't behave, is what I usually say :p

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    1. Lol! Milk it for all it's worth, right? Probably not very ethical, but if it does have some truth to it, that's okay. Maybe. =D

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  8. Wow! Based on your blogpost, I just found out what's wrong, er, I mean right with me! I am a writer and will henceforth refer to myself as such. Is that OK for someone who has never published anything more than book reviews? Hope so 'cuz here I go...

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    1. Totally counts. If you write book reviews, you are a writer. Anyone who says otherwise is just lame. =D Have fun with your books reviews!

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  9. PS, I spent five years as a homeschooling Mom as well and started a novel during Nanowrimo. Homeschooling and writing. Yup, a couple of labels for us out of the box thinker/doers.

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    1. So cool! I have so much respect for homeschool Moms. You guys do so much amazing work. Off to go find my Mom and thank her. =)

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  10. I get comments all the time about being too observant. People don't understand how entertaining people watching can be. Reality is just one big story.

    Also: it's funny that Narwhals came up earlier in the comments. Leelu is my favorite narwhal ;)

    http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/Leelu

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