The Strange and wonderful world of writing
Do You have To Be Weird To Be A Writer?
Full of BBQ and beer, I listened to the conversation of the six people I had just met around the fire pit.
“Did you hear Jane and Roland split?”
“Really? Though I’m not surprised. He is a bit odd.”
“What do you expect? He’s an artist.”
Laughter all around, except for me and my husband.
I turned to my wanna be rock star husband and said, “Awkward moment.” Then we laughed.
The fellow who was laughing the loudest said,
“What? Are you guys artists?”
“I write and paint and Joe plays guitar.”
We moved on to a different topic of conversation.
When I was in grade twelve, I wanted to be a writer and a painter but I became a teacher. In my 30’s, I put pen to paper again. Ten years later, I have signed my first book contract, but I still pause when people ask me what I do. It is so much easier to say that I am a teacher rather than I am a writer.
I don’t want to be odd. I’ve spent my life trying to fit in.
Some writers sleep all day and write all night. Others use a special pen or create in a special place. Some, such as Hemmingway, have a crazed look in their eyes.
I use a laptop, wear ear protectors and hope for the best. Sometimes I work at the kitchen table, other times I go downstairs to my studio (wherever my six year old is not!). To get anything done, I need at least 2 hours and no interruptions. I am motivated by deadlines. Not very weird or abnormal.
Would my creative juices flow more freely if I allowed myself my eccentricities?
I fantasize of dressing up in flowing silks, dancing to music by Edith Piaf and tracing words in the air with my finger, to create my next best seller. I drink from an elegant martini glass and tap my desk with my French manicured nails. Each session, I dress as a different character from my novel. Sometimes I get tipsy and words I didn’t think I knew appear on the page.
I am more vivacious, more daring and I socialize with exotic people who give me ideas for my books. I stay out late, need way less than eight hours of sleep and rev myself to life in the morning with 4 cups of coffee. It is crazy.
In reality, I try to be disciplined and write as much as I can in between being a mom, a guide, a teacher, a painter, a wife and a friend.
Next time I write, I think I will try dressing up.