Smatterings #5 – Writers Are Weird

Let’s be honest—writers are weird. We’re just a bit strange. Odd, maybe, is a better word.

On any given day, most people will look at me and rightfully say, “Oh, she’s a fairly organized, rational, detailed, methodical-type person. Friendly and outgoing, too.” Yet when my writer’s brain takes over, which is not nearly often enough, I become a whole other person, even known for telling my neighbors, “Don’t bother coming to my door because there’s a really good chance I’m not going to answer.” And I mean it. I’m really not going to answer my door. Nor my phone. Not my emails either. Nope. Not until I’m done for the day, or week, anyway. That’s the only way a writer can get any writing done.

Writers who are parents with kids at home have a whole other set of troubles! Wow, bravo to all of you. I was one of you once, which is my excuse for not having a novel published until after I reached fifty years of age. Of course, there was no such thing as respectable self-publishing prior to me turning fifty, so it was the traditional route or not at all. It was not at all for me because, in my opinion, I still had a long way to go before I became a “good writer.” Now self-publishing is king and there’s no waiting line. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and Susie and Sally, can hop online and publish any drivel they want and they’ll sell at least a few copies before the reading public realizes they’re frauds. Which actually hurts the great self-published writers out there because the readers no longer trust our profession. But that’s another soapbox for another day.

Back to us being a weird bunch . . .  Other than schizophrenics, how many other people see and hear invisible folks and their stories? I often amuse myself when I am in the midst of scene—one in which I know exactly where things are going—and a door opens and someone I never expected to see is standing before me. (Yes, I mean in my make-believe world.) I am always shocked! “Who are you?” I’ll ask, and suddenly the events change and I get a story I never predicted. It’s miraculous really.

Real writers are never alone. We have our own tribes, especially since the advent of the Internet, so even though we may be hundreds of miles apart, we support each other, we understand, and we care. And when the Internet is down, well, we can always turn to our make-believe people.


1 thought on “Smatterings #5 – Writers Are Weird”

  1. Indeed, we writers are an unusual lot. Many of us — myself included — have several different stories running at the same time. Often (for me) it’s a matter of deciding which one is the hottest, which storyline won’t leave me alone, which set of characters are most poking me with sticks to get the words on paper?
    I also think, in my case at least, that I spent quite a few years attempting to appear more “normal” to those around me… precisely because we’d had several generations of high-profile examples of fine writers who were looney-tunes, ending their lives early, dying in poverty, etc. I so much did not want to be view as the stereotypical “tortured writer” that I tried to look unaffected. Does that make sense.
    Yet, I also recall during my younger life, when I SOUGHT that look of the distressed author. Go figure. Guess I thought it would give me some attention I felt I needed. LOL

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