Why You Should Hug a Writer and Then Run Like Hell
I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and pondering life lately, and my moods have been… well let’s just say
a little bit over the top extreme. Only the people really, really close to me would know this – it’s not something I would ever publicly broadcast, or anything silly like that…
Usually, I am able to associate my over driven emotional tendencies to being a being a female – which should be explanation enough.
Lately, however, it’s been a bit hard to handle. I’ve always been a chick – as far as I know – some of the early 20’s years are a bit blurry. Either way, I should be used to it by now. (But trust me, men, you really never do get used to having a dagger driven through your guts every few weeks and the hormonal aftermath it leaves in its wake – and don’t tell me that you have to deal with it, too – because you have NO IDEA).
Regardless, because I am a woman – I need to know everything. EVERY FREAKIN’ THING. My ups and downs lately have been a little bit more than hormones … they’ve also been in part to my spiritual wandering to find out why the hell I am here. These ‘character glitches’ I am noticing have been rearing their ugly head a bit more clearly as I find myself on another personal quest that caught me off guard and hit me harder than that chick in high school with a jealousy problem.
For that reason, I am trying to come to terms – and embrace – some of my… ummm, let’s just call them ‘eccentricities’. .
In the midst of my self exploration, I forgot to look at my self as being a ‘creative type’… which comes with a laundry list of interesting ‘traits’. Although this may not be reason enough – at least it can be partially attributed.
Yeah… totally… that’s totally it. Riiiight.
Combine that with being a lost soul trying to break free of the shackles of society, ovaries, a rather dry love life, and full moons – and what you have is complete and utter inner chaos.
It was right around the time I started tapping into my spiritual essence that I began writing more frequently. You see, writing is one of those ‘things’ that has been with me since early childhood – when my Mother taught me to read and write before I started kindergarten. I didn’t like to speak a whole lot and I often found solace using words – in written form.
What a treat it was to skip out on learning the alphabet and read Nancy Drew novels instead. How about them Hardy Boys?! I wonder if they are single. Also, I did not mind hanging out in the teachers’ lounge washing dishes during spelling class. What kid didn’t want to chum with the grownups in a cigarette smoke infested staff room? Way. Too. Cool.
This immediately separated me from the other kids. Who the hell is this 5 year old reading novels and trying to impress us with her short stories at show and tell? She gets to skip class, again?! Wtf.
What a nerd.
Therefore, I suppressed my ability to write for most of my life. It was apparently a talent I had – according to other people – never myself. Most writers never actually think they are any good at their own skill. So, I would deny it. Over and over again. In fact, I still do.
It doesn’t help that I just read Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 tips for great writers and I fail at all of them. Every goddamn one.
I can’t really call myself a legit ‘polished’ writer – I don’t exactly make a living off of it, I don’t follow the ‘rules’ and I am not formally trained. I only know that my word hobby has been around since I was an awkward child.
I wanted to be ANYTHING but a writer. Next to musicians, writing is one of the least lucrative career choices there is. Race car driver, trapeze artist, lion tamer, lawyer, sewer inspector, private investigator, that chick that’s the bait to catch cheating husbands, exterminator – please god give me any other talent BUT writing.
Clearly none of these things worked out.
“Well, why don’t you write more?” some people would ask.
“How about you just f*** off and stop asking me that. I don’t want to write.”
And so brings me to this juncture – personal journey #437 and facing some tough questions about who I am.
(For the record I still don’t know.)
But, I can’t be a writer. In this day and age, everyone is a writer just like everyone is a musician and everyone is a photographer. The Internet can make you a pro star anything. Secondly, why on Earth would I even want to take part in this carpal tunnel syndrome inducing activity that makes me want to pull Greek on my dishes and then saw off my sore arm/fingers with a dull butter knife? Seems crazy.
I started to explain some of my
mild excessive neurotic behavior to fellow writers and even strangers – and they would tell me, “You must be writer”.
Well that’s just f’ing great. Now other people were pointing it out, too.
Then I started to consider that I should maybe acknowledge the fact that perhaps I was a writer – or at the very least a decent wannabe writer – even though it wasn’t bringing home the bacon.
Maybe I just need to accept it. Honor it, in whatever way possible – even if it means I’ll never be an actual ‘writer writer’ per say. EVEN if it means writing a story about how much I despise writing. Regardless, it was a gift that was given to me and I’ve done my best to suppress it.
As I began to meet other writer types, I started to notice certain ‘quirks’ – some not the most flattering – but it did seem to give me a morsel of clarity into the kind of person I am.
Things are really as clear as mud now.
These ‘traits’ could really just be my own made up things to help me feel better about my own erratic behavior on this weird journey. But whatever. In case you know a few in your own life – they are also things that you should know to make your life – and theirs – a little bit easier.
You see, there’s a kind of personal hell most writers go through on a daily basis. By “most” I really “some – and by “some” I actually mean “female” and by “female” I really mean… well, me.
I am sure I am not the only one, but I’d hate to make an error in judgment and speak on behalf of any writers that are actually SANE. I don’t want to pigeon hole anyone. Although, I don’t believe that ‘sane’ and ‘writer’ belong in the same sentence – but hey, I’ve been wrong before.
(I’m using the word ‘we’ because I would like to think that I’m not the only excessive person out there. If you’re a writer and don’t carry these traits, I’m sorry. And also – please tell me your secret).
The thing about some writers is that we loathe writing. We will generally do anything – ANYTHING – to avoid writing.
Write?! Write now?? Right now?!?
Noooo….. I can’t write right now. There’s a Coronation Street marathon on TV and after that I need to go outside and shovel dog shit, cut the grass with scissors one blade at a time, organize my sock drawer, clean the furnace ducts, knit my best friend’s brother’s cousin’s dog a sweater, rearrange my closet, rearrange my ENTIRE god damn life and call (insert annoying family member here) that I never talk to.
Once that is done, then… THEN I will get to writing, FOR SURE.
Only after I have a bottle of wine.
- We always have words and ideas rolling through our head. We tell ourselves stories and sometimes we actually start believing them. Which leads me to my next point…
- 99.999% of the time we have a story or an idea in our head and when we sit down to write it, nothing comes out. When that happens, our life is over and we become purposeless human beings… and so begins the suicide mission. When we fail at writing, we fail at every other part of life – which may not be the case in reality – but it is a story we will tell ourselves (at least this is true for me)… and quite frankly, NOTHING is going to change the fact that I feel as pointless as a broken pencil.
- If we are able to get our ideas out – LIFE IS GREAT and the sex is better!!!… Again, this is something I don’t know (seven years single, remember) but I can only imagine.
- The above is always remedied by wine (or whatever else your poison may be). However, it’s made worse if you fall asleep before writing your ideas down. There’s a limited time on this and if you don’t capitalize on it – you wake up feeling remorseful and so begins the cycle, again. And then you have a new problem. It’s called alcoholism.
- Don’t correct a writer on their spelling mistakes immediately. That’s what an editor is for. Most of us wannabes are too broke and not legit enough to have an actual editor. If you do feel the need to get all nit picky, do it gently. I didn’t come here to win a Spelling Bee – I’m here to get ideas out of my head before someone cries bloody murder. I don’t care if they are in any logical order – I just want them gone asap – because I’m not sure they even allow you to have a pen in the asylum. Whether or not I used the proper form of their or there – or misspelled something – is the least of my worries. I don’t even care how many tenses I’m using in the same paragraph. I’ll deal with that after.
- Knowing you ‘should’ write but avoid it is a lot like being possessed. You know Danny Torrence in The Shining? Yeah, well, rather than ‘Red Rum’… my finger is twitching and that little demon voice is saying “Write me. Wrriiiiiitte Mee. WRITE ME.”
That all being said, writers are really a bunch colourful, caring, attentive souls with a high awareness. You should know one. Also, give them a hug. They probably need one, even though they’ll deny it. They will keep your lives interesting and full of drama all derived from their head. How creative and enticing!!!
And if you do know a writer trying to find their way in the world – keep in mind Danny’s Father, Jack Torrence in The Shining, and prepare accordingly.
Also, this might be the worst thing I’ve ever written… but who cares, my raging emotions are now justified. Sort of.
Where’s the wine?