Insecure Writer's Support Group: Writers Are Odd Ducks


One of the things that's helped me face my insecurities is acknowledging that it seems to sort of come with the territory. Writers, on the whole, are an odd folk. It's been somewhat of a relief to discover that I am a writer, because now I finally have an excuse for my weirdness.

It's true... Ask anyone. Better yet, ask Google. If you start typing "Writers are" you get this...


There are many sites and Pinterest boards dedicated to the strange and wonderful writers who gave us classic literature. Some had strange writing habits... (Well, strange to those who are not afflicted by the same compulsion, I suppose.) Many were afflicted by madness, depression, and anxiety that seems to plague the creative sort. There are a lot of different types of "writer crazy." Me, I'm the anxious, introverted sort. But knowing it's normal for "my kind" is comforting. I'm in good company.

"Most writers are plagued by negative thoughts such as ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘Everything I write is terrible’. Then there are the days when you can’t muster up the energy to write anything at all. That’s when those negative voices step up a level: ‘How can you call yourself a writer? You can’t even write.’ "~Nicola Stretton

You get different theories on why authors tend to oddness if you search around. Some say that writers are innately ultra-sensitive, which makes us able to accurately portray the human condition with those tiny details that go unnoticed by most. Some of us cannot turn off that creative engine. Or perhaps it's an over-abundance of empathy. Whatever it is, a lot of us have it. Are there perfectly normal, well-adjusted writers? Certainly. But they're the unusual ones.

Mr. Torvald: Well, you're an artist and artists feel things differently than regular people. Look at Patsy Cline or Billie Holiday. You can hear it in their voice. Or, Vincent van Gogh. Cut off his ear, but hey, he could paint. 
Terri Fletcher: Vincent van Gogh killed himself. 
Mr. Torvald: That's right. That's a bad example. Hey, I'm a music teacher not a shrink. What do you want? I guess... what I'm trying to say is, artists convey emotion. They make an audience feel what they're feeling. You know, that's what it's all about, right? You just have to find a way to take what's in here [Points to his head and put it in here [points to his heart
~ Raise Your Voice


We are the ones who not only listen to the voices in our head, we give them names and backstories, talk back to them, and argue with them. Not too long ago, I saw a Tweet from an author who was depressed over a failed romance novel. Her characters had broken up and she said they refused to get back together.


 Perhaps we should be a little different. We are, after all, engaged in a profession that more or less requires solitude for the sake of communication. We separate ourselves from the world, yet we are intimately involved in its minutia. We create worlds, plan crimes, travel to far-away universes, and hold the lives of those people in our heads in the palms of our hands. In the worlds of our minds, we are gods and devils. So, perhaps it's just that our brains are a little busy running another universe while we're navigating this one.


It's pretty much universally accepted that writers are an odd bunch, but there are many who insist we should celebrate that weirdness. At the very least, we can embrace the kinship. It may not relieve your anxiety, or dark nights of the soul to know it, but you are certainly not alone. That's one of the best parts of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, to see that there are others who share these feelings.


“...I have this one nasty habit. Makes me hard to live with. I write...
"...writing is antisocial. It's as solitary as masturbation. Disturb a writer when he is in the throes of creation and he is likely to turn and bite right to the bone... and not even know that he's doing it. As writers' wives and husbands often learn to their horror..
"...there is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized. Or even cured. In a household with more than one person, of which one is a writer, the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private, and where food can be poked in to him with a stick. Because, if you disturb the patient at such times, he may break into tears or become violent. Or he may not hear you at all... and, if you shake him at this stage, he bites...”  
~Robert A. Heinlein


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You can see my other posts for the Insecure Writer's Support Group here, and visit the main blogroll here.


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4 comments:

  1. Writers are a strange breed, and I'm amongst them. They are the most confident people in the world but, at the same time, the most paranoid.

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  2. I love this Lissa!! It's so very true! I remember watching Stephen King's, "Secret Window" not that long ago and relating to the main character. How scary is that? The guy was utterly insane and I related to him. Gah! What a great post. Thank you!

    Elsie
    IWSG co-host

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  3. Hi! I'm a late IWSG visitor, but I love this post. I'm also an extreme introvert, and I shuddered to even think about starting a blog and social media accounts to network with other authors. Now, I don't know what I'd do without it. I feel right at home with most of the authors I've met.
    Have a great month!
    Fel Wetzig The Peasants Revolt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. meeting my fellow authors really has been the best part of becoming a writer. I only hope I can be as kind and supportive to other writers as they were to me.

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