Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yes I'm weird, but so are you (probably)

"You're so weird."

That's one of the most common things Her Highness the Missus says to me around the house. Typically when I've come up with something that makes my darling (some would say long-suffering) wife shake her head at me. The fact that this occurs almost daily isn't ignored, and it shouldn't really come as any surprise to someone who's spoken with me for more than 20 minutes. Yes, I've got some weirdness in me -- however I'm of the opinion that some of the best writers are highly weird people.

We're weird because we see the world differently than a lot of other people. Rather than look at a person and make snap judgements on their socioeconomic class, education level, or whether they're someone we want to get to know or not, we start making up stories about why their hair is frazzled or why they wore that particular blue shirt today.

Writers are always thinking in terms of telling stories. It doesn't matter whether you're a journalist, a critic, a filmmaker, a novelist, or a playwright -- story is the first thing that pops into your head. What's that person's story? What's this place's story? Where can this place fit in my novel?

It's a difference in worldview, like I said, but it's also a difference in what's important to us. Isaac Asimov wrote in Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection, "What would you rather have? Asimov the prolific writer, or Asimov, the fashion plate? I warn you. You can't have them both. (pg 288)" This is an important truism, and one that I say explains why I never cared about the clothes I wore until I met HHTM. Yes, much of my current wardrobe has been purchased under her influence. It's easier to give up that particular battle.

But anyway, my lack of fashion sense isn't really the point here. My point is that writers are a distinct breed of people who are able to look at someone and decide there's a story there. What makes a writer especially different is that they make the decision to write those words down so other people can enjoy the world that the writer sees.

And that's why we're weird.


Rick Daley said...

Some people say the glass is half-full. Others say it is half-empty. I notice it is made of plastic and say it's really a cup.

L. T. Host said...

I embrace my weirdness.


This is part of the reason I think writers often have so many writer friends. We're the only ones who truly get each other's weirdness.

Davin Malasarn said...

A lot of people consider me to be a weird person, and sometimes I liked it and sometimes, honestly, I was annoyed by it. Lately, I don't think I'm any weirder than anyone else, writer or non, but what makes writers appear to be weird is that we're better able to express our weirdness with words.