About being a writer: You know you are a writer when… you know more about odd rituals, obscene trivia, and ways to commit murder than most people
Spanish version: Las Rarezas de Ser Escritor
I found this very specific quote on the following Someecard weeks ago:
The reality behind this sentence hit me at once and I was both surprised and laughing about how accurate it could be. I know, I know, writers are weird. I am weird and I am still not a professional writer, and I have already talked about something similar to this on the very post of mine, “Writer, not a psycho”. Of course, we are not alone, and the field of writing is (over)populated with strange people that talk about really odd topics for a living. Or for a dream. But, it is normal if you think about us trying to think like our characters, to behave like any (ANY) kind of person, to plot how to create tension and a nice situation for the reader, or to commit any (again, ANY) kind of crime from any possible country in the world (and in History).
But don’t get lost in general situations about writers and how and why they turn crazy. Let’s get real: I have evidences, examples, a reality to face. I have the truth.
Well… At least, I have the “truth” related to my persona, so I can give you examples of how (weird) different (creepy) a wannabe writer like me can be. Let’s get deep into the darkness, this is going to be interesting. And very personal, so come closer, if you please.
I would like to start from the beginning, which, in a writer’s terms, would be the library. Or the shelves that hold your books, as you like to call them. The library of a writer reflects, in a pretty accurate way, how the writer thinks, works and, as a whole, sees the world. Each writer tends to write in and/or about a certain genre, or genres, even though they try to expand their creative horizons further away from the core. In my case, I love fantasy and science-fiction, anything related to the magic of creating from nothing and using those hidden forces, and the logical explanation behind that magic. So, as you can imagine, my library is full of books that are from this genre. However, that’s not everything, and I have certain books that are quite… interesting.
For example, one of my last acquisitions is a book about magic (how to summon powers, create portals and potions, all of these in a very realistic way, like if it was a course (it even has chapters with topics and tests at the end of each one)). Another one was about angels (the catholic point of view), how they come from Heaven, around God, and how they will act in the Apocalypse.
About the Templar Knights
One day, I was looking for information about Templar Knights and I chose around 10 books from my personal library that could have anything related to them: a book about how armies have worked through History in different countries, a book about general mythology, a book about religion in general, a book by Saint Cipriano about demons, and a book about black magic, among others. That’s only to make a preliminar research about those knights; a further investigation would have included even more rare books dealing with even more odd topics.
But this is only in the private/personal situation, where almost no one has entered. And those who have, in fact, entered, are like me and find those books amazing, not creepy. However, this is not the common situation among “normal” people, and when I am “in public” and I engage in a conversation about disturbing topics and someone asks my opinion… things get confusing.
A Bit of Settlement
Let me set you: I love any series about criminals, and dead bodies and the investigation that the police (FBI, CIA, etc.) make about the crime scene. It is a source for me to understand, in a very simple way, how the mind of a “crazy person” works, so I can translate any character of that kind that I could possibly create into something more realistic and believable.
Sometimes, those series are well done, sometimes they are not. And, the second situation happens, I tend to be quite vocal about what is wrong and how it should be fixed. So you can see me, watching those series, and saying things like “That’s not how you kill a person”, “That bone should be broken”, “He can’t just walk after falling from that height”. Now, think about me watching a movie that is not well done, and that is full of errors and mistakes about the veracity of those specific (creepy) details. Yes, on that situation I can be odd AND annoying, I know it.
Sometimes, my levels of “being annoying” can be horrible, and even I, myself, suffer from it. I have avoided watching movies, or series, and reading books, just because of a horrible presentation, such as a trailer. Not because of the trailer being poorly made, but because of the HUGE number of errors committed on just the trailer (which, by the way, is the compendium of only the best scenes in the whole movie…).
The other day I saw the trailer of “King Arthur”, a new movie about… yes, King Arthur. Again. It started without saying the title, and no clue about what it was. So I kept watching it, trying to connect all the dots in my mind. And a voice was screaming at the bottom of my head “It’s going to be horrible!! Stop watching that trailer!!”, like if Doom’s day was coming towards me. Some seconds later, I realised it was about King Arthur, the mythological figure, plagued with humongous errors that could have made Baby Jesus or the Dalai Lama cry.
And I, also, almost cried when I shouted “THAT’S NOT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.”. I am a fan of the Arthurian cycle. So watching another movie (among tens and tens) about it, destroying everything all over again was just painful to see. Of course, for another person that doesn’t care about accuracy, I am a pain in the ass, but I can’t help myself.
Nevertheless, that’s not the only situation I can be creepy/annoying. If the other way around happens, I can be even creepier. A couple of days ago, I went to the cinema and watched “Atomic Blonde”, starred by Charlize Theron.
The movie is great, and the action scenes are amazing. There is a specific scene in the middle of the movie (something about stairs). And the realism on that scene is top level. I loved it, and I was so amazed by how well everything was done, and the movement, the choreography, as well as the plot…they did everything perfectly! However, I came out of my mesmerizing situation to realise people in the cinema were screaming with horror when watching bones breaking and blood splattering everywhere. And some of them were even covering their eyes and talking about leaving the room.
But I wasn’t! I couldn’t get my eyes out of the screen, and the more action happened, the more I wanted… Not only that, I was, of course, taking mental notes about action scenes for my stories on the future. At the end of the movie, I talked to my parents and they were both also amazed by the movie. But they didn’t say anything bad about the violence, so I started doubting myself. Am I that creepy or is it just that I can see, like lots of other people, the beauty of those elements, even though they are not socially acceptable?
We Are Not Alone
And here is the quid of any writer’s situation. We are not alone, so we can be creepy and make friends similar to us, all at the same time. Great, isn’t it? Being odd, creepy, nerdy, geeky… Different. People don’t like “different” because they think it is going to be hurtful, fearful or it is going to imply a negative change.
However, people that are different, like us, can show the world like no other can, maybe creepier, but always prettier. Finding a person that you can talk to about odd stuff like you do is hard, of course. And can be full of those looks that make you feel so little… But when you find a person that thinks like you, that not only accept your creepy topics, but also has something to add to the conversation… That’s something nobody can replace.
Writers can be odd, strange, and very creepy, for sure. But they are also intrigued by the world that surrounds them, and they only want to portray it in the most accurate and possible way. I am a creepy person, and I talk about creepy stuff. Feel welcome if you do the same. If you are different from me, I would love to listen to you, because you don’t think like me, so you are interesting.
Being a writer is being odd, embrace it and make the world know who you really are.
Don’t forget to read these posts!
A Writer As an Enemy