In classic Kim fashion, I’ve been pondering this as of late. It partially started with a conversation with Ryan L., a fellow writer I met via Twitter. Following a discussion about the merits (and the not so wonderful) of Albuquerque, New Mexico we somehow began discussing how writers are weird. How we are conditioned to believe that we’re fucked up while the rest of society, the ones who generally follow the status quo, are normal.
Well meaning friends (and sometimes family) will attempt to push us into “real jobs” that serve only one purpose: To make us miserable. Okay, and provide a steady paycheck. Two purposes. Whatever.
Ultimately, I suspect many of us end up feeling like we’re slackers. Especially those of us who have yet to make a career of writing in some form or another. Or those who have made a career of freelancing and are perfectly content with not being a cubicle monkey.
And I am one of those. While I have been [grudgingly] willing to become said cubicle monkey in favor of a steady paycheck to improve my financial situation, the thought of it makes me cringe something fierce.
Responsible me knows it’s the right (and smart) thing to do. Free spirit, fuck the rules, writer me loudly says, “It’s not you. Period. You already know you make a shitty employee because you hate being confined to one place and you hate drudgery.”
Writer me is write. Er, right. Drudgery is an evil bitch I have feelings of hatred for. And Ryan is certainly right in his assessment that writers are a weird bunch. After realizing that he, too, experienced many of the same feelings and thoughts I have had over the years I somehow felt more…normal. Weird, but normal. For me anyway.
We’re not looking to be fixed. We’re not looking for a boring desk job that makes us want to rip our hair out (or worse, take up a wicked drinking habit or other seedy vices). We’re not interested in pursuing anything that may make us miserable, at least not willingly. In the interest of survival and keeping a roof over our heads and food in our bellies we’ll do what we have to at times.
I know every writer is different and could, in theory argue with me. Fine. But I suspect a good majority would also agree with me. We’re fucking weird. And most of us, I’d argue, actually like it that way.
These days I embrace my own weirdness. It took me while to reach this point. Too often I have felt like something was wrong with me. Ryan told me he once felt the same.
But now? Nah. Nothing is wrong with me or any other writer who errs on the side of weird. Normal is boring. And, at times, exhausting.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go have a conversation with my cat. Don’t judge.