Now, fair warning my friends.
Few things are as psychologically hazardous and cosmically perplexing as attempting to wrap one’s own mind around that of a writer.
Metaphorically speaking of course.
In fact the sobering truth is, it may in reality be quite impossible. Many have tried, only either to give up and seek solace in the bottom of a keg, or barrel, or whatever it is that non-writing humans do. Or just lose their mind, really.
Fact is, we’re an odd folk. An unhinged bunch. A downright misunderstood people.
On an unrelated note, should any doctors be reading this, how far is it possible to stretch a mind?
Half meter? Meter? Should I be worried it’s bleeding?
…Just asking for a friend.
Anyway, like much of my arguably redundant and occasionally concerning advice, there’s no real guide to undertaking this daunting task of coming to terms with those that are…
*Shudders in horror*
*Whispers as tears cloud vision*
It’s a road plagued with indecisiveness, inebriation, likely homicide, and the very rare moment of satisfaction, or dare I say it, pride. So hug your conscious close, because things are about to get weird.
Hold my hand?
*Dances somehow ghoulishly*
First thing you’ve got to understand, perhaps a little paradoxically, is that there is in fact very little to understand. Though writers come in many forms, and sometimes even a few different shapes (oddly enough we do in fact come in octagons) there’s this certain air of similarity that follows us all. Putting it kindly after violently dipping it in sugar, it’s an air of thoughtfulness. By this I mean that our minds are fickle things often enough prone to distraction at the faintest hint of something different. And by this I mean that we have the attention span of a goldfish.
‘tis true unfortunately. Actually thinking about it now, this whole website probably stands as testament to that truth. I’m literally all over the place.
Mind = Blown.
Unless working on a longterm project within the realm of something story-like, we’re like that annoying squirrel in your backyard constantly changing direction as though determined to question itself to death.
But to be honest it’s not that writers have a real sense of direction to begin with. More of this sense that vaguely tells us there’s probably something we should one day consider doing in some annoyingly far-off place.
This isn't to say that writers don't have patience, because that’s one of the few things we actually do have, but it’s a patience of a special kind. I think we grow quickly bored of things without an interesting story.
So in this regard perhaps you should approach the concept of understanding a writer like you would a child. Possibly unpredictable, likely cannibalistic, and almost certainly drunk.
…I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what a child is.
…A flightless bird, no?
But that’s only the first layer of what is a generally very onion-like mind. Yes, partly because of the tears. Because although it may look like we’ve been repeatedly hit by a bus, our minds are surprisingly active. Sure those thoughts change in a matter of seconds, and are often bordering on the criminally insane, but what counts is that they’re there.
Or so my mother tells me.
Almost everything is interesting, and in my opinion (something you’ve heard me say before if you’re active on here) everything has a story. And what writers tend to do is romanticize those stories, regardless of how actually lifeless they are. I can see how it would be difficult to come to terms with the fact some writers honestly prefer to be left alone with their imaginations. It’s super weird, sure, I agree. But the truth is we need very little to entertain ourselves. A blank sheet of paper and a bottle of good scotch does the trick just fine.
I don’t know.
On that note, when buying a gift for a writer-friend this holiday, please, for the love of all that is good in this world, and honestly for your own personal safety, do not buy them a notebook. ‘Not’ as in ‘knot’ and ‘naught’ but without the other letters. And with an O?
Distracted. Aimless. Like a damn squirrel.
*Begins crying in disappointment*
In all honesty I may have just saved your life though. So you’re welcome. If you’re thinking thank-you’s, black label’ll work fine.
Anyway, as a pleasantly plump people, (notice how many ‘peoples’ we are today?) we reserve the right to be a little wacky-doodle from time to time.
Though, at our annual meeting, which is totally a real thing, and which we totally have, we decided we’d like it known that although it doesn't look like we think a whole lot, we do.
Which may or may not elegantly bring me to my next point.
Though we’re distracted, and though we’re constantly thinking thoughts (shit’s real deep folks), there’s one key aspect to understanding a writer that stands above the rest.
…We can’t love.
*Collective victorian-era-style fainting*
You decide if we need that question mark there.
No, we’re probably a little too prominent on that spectrum (the looove spectrum) to be honest, which is partly the point here. No matter what else we do, whether we’re a student, at a desk job, hunting endangered rhinos (*gasp* shame on you), hurtling towards Mars, waking up in crime scenes or even just simply unconscious, we always self-identify first as ‘the’ writer. Not that we always say it aloud, we’re not that far gone, but internally, you’ll find it’s true. Which is weird when you think about it. I mean when you really think about-
Ah yes, well this is a working hypothesis of mine. One of many, as you’ve probably noticed. (Where’s my gosh-darn Nobel prize?)
But honestly, it’s true. Knowing that although it sounds stupid, and is in all likelihood quite stupid indeed, this is the skeleton-key to understanding writers.
Just accept we think ourselves ‘special,’ and leave us to our caves and self resentment.
It’s actually not at all that bad.
(Doesn't get old my peeps)
-all the same it’s not like we think this to bolster our (admittedly liquid) confidence or anything. Being a John Doe writer today is far from the holy grail of careers.
* “You chose… poorly” *
*Watch knight explode into dust*
*Proceed to eat said dust*
*Instantly regret eating dust*
So, there you are my funny little friends.
I bestow upon you this alien and yet surprisingly insightful power to understanding nature’s most enigmatic and ironically incapacitated creature.
No, dammit! I mean the write-
Ah, I blew it, didn't I?
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