There's no end
to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go! {Dr. Seuss}

Friday, February 24, 2012

3 Things Writers Know

Have you realized when you first meet someone, one of the first questions asked is, “What do you do?” Americans are taught that our true value lies in our jobs. More than anything, it’s important how much money we make so we can buy new cars and own the newest gadgets and have the biggest houses and send our kids to the most prestigious schools. Often I have to remember that writing is worthwhile work no matter the monetary gain…or deficit. Here are only three of the many things I think are valuable about writers and our job:
1.) Writers Know Acceptance. Writers have to research anything from changing a tire to shooting a gun. They might interview anyone from a 1st grade student to a drug addict. Writers pay attention to people, listen closely, and observe. Writers might not know exactly what you’re feeling, but they can imagine it pretty darn close. Writers might not understand why you act how you do, but they’ll always try to understand. Writers accept you for who you are because probably a character modeled after you is living inside their head 24/7.
2.) Writers Know Awareness. Sometimes I write things I know absolutely nothing about. As I imagine my setting and how my characters react, I think about the real people who could be in this situation. Writing has made me much more aware about the world I live in and compassionate about the people who live in it with me. I pay attention to the news, both the major headlines and the barely noticeable three-line paragraphs. The written word is everywhere and someone has to write about it all. That’s what you and me are doing. And yet… 
3.) Writers Know Humility. As I garner ideas reading about events and people, the wonderful and the terrible, I remember how small I am in this big, big world. I remember to write the truth how I see it, but to also consider how others might see it differently. Writers know that they wouldn’t have the byline without the important people and events they write about. 
Writers know many things! What else can you add? If you live outside the U.S., how does your society view job status and work? Is it just as pressure-filled to make heaps of money or is it more relaxed?
Happy Friday, Zigzaggers! Have a wonderful weekend!

25 comments:

DL Hammons said...

Writers know there are four sides to every story....what he said...what she said...what really happened...and what the writer says happened. A writer has the ability to help shape reality...and therefore opinions. Powerful stuff!! :)

Journaling Woman said...

Writers need to have thick skin, but we don't. And we're mush which helps with the creativity but gets messy. :)

Great post!

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's so true. And I think that's why Americans have so many sleep issues--we don't know how to relax.

Tara Tyler said...

writers know there is a back story that makes people act the way they do =)
great thinking post!
have a fun weekend!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great post! Being a writer is like being a psychologist. We start to understand people and motivations better. :D

SA Larsenッ said...

So true. And all those can be applied to characters. Knowing your characters and where they've come from is pivotal.

Talli Roland said...

Interesting! Here in London, I've noticed I can walk away from people and still not know anything about what I do. I will know how they feel about the government, world poverty, etc etc!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Awesome! I love the three things you've pointed out about writers and our job. We are more accepting, aware, and humble. We're also adventurous even if it's only in our minds. ;)

Southpaw said...

After reading this I wonder if it makes writers more accepting or more jaded. Maybe both or maybe it depends on the writer and what they are writing.

Julie Dao said...

Writers are compassionate... we put ourselves into the hearts and minds of imaginary characters, and we feel things that they feel. What a terrific post! I really think writers are extremely underappreciated folks :) Have a great weekend, Laura!

Laura Marcella said...

DL- That's a good one!

Teresa- LoL, so true.

Jennifer- You're probably right.

Tara- I agree!

Stina- Good point.

SA- That's absolutely true.

Talli- Those are certainly much more interesting things to discuss and know about others!

Kathi- Absolutely true! Our minds can go anywhere and do anything.

Holly- Well, all the writers I know are enthusiastic and interested in what's around them and what they write. But I'm sure there are writers out there who are jaded, probably because they're unhappy with their writing.

Julie- That is so true! We have to put ourselves in another's shoes to write about it honestly.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

What a great post - and spot on! Writers know the depths of heartache and the pinnacles of joy. They know that life has ups and downs. And they know that life is full of surprises!

Saumya said...

This is a wonderful post, Laura. I love all of your points and agree. I think it's necessary for all writers to show how much they have to do because they are often under appreciated. In the end, I think the beauty of writing is that nobody else needs to get it at all. It's been difficult for me to accept when it does feel like nobody takes it seriously but ultimately, it's not for them to understand :)

Julie Musil said...

Wow, this is amazing! I was going to say writers know patience, but maybe that's not the best example. We need patience, but we don't always have it :D

Nelson Souzza said...

Stopping by to wish you both a blessed weekend, Laura.

Laura Marcella said...

Melissa- You're absolutely right about those things!

Saumya- This is a wonderful response. I think you're right!

Julie- LoL, writers should no patience, but I think the entire process from idea conception to publication is too much for us sometimes!!

Nelson- Hello and welcome to Wavy Lines! Thank you for your kind comment. Hope your weekend is great! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Good points.

Writers know determination.

Writers know self-belief because without these they give up easily.

BURIED IN BOOKS said...

Until I read this post, I always wondered if I had this stamp on my forehead that said, "Tell me your story". I have yet to meet a stranger that has not felt a need to tell me their life story. How they met their wife, to how they got their job, to how their kids dropped out of school to how they stopped talking to their parents. I have heard it all. I just went to sign my son up for math tutoring and learned all about the man's venture from football coach to when his children were born to their venture into this math tutoring and where they hope to be in two years. And I realize, just now, there's a reason I'm supposed to hear these stories. I am supposed to be a writer. I listen. I hear. I understand. Somewhere in all these stories people have told me over the years, and I do mean years, there are stories to be woven together.

Thanks for the insight,
Heather

Laura Marcella said...

Madeleine- Those are good ones! Writers definitely understand what it means to believe in oneself.

Heather- Hello and welcome to Wavy Lines! Your thoughts are insightful and wise. People love to share their stories, and who better to listen than a writer? Cheers to hearing many more stories over the years. Thank you for stopping by and for your wonderful comment!

Margo Berendsen said...

Oh, I love this. I nodded all the way through it. I really honestly think writing has made me a better person, like you said it helps with awareness, seeing things from other people's perspective, humility as I realize how many great books are out there and that literally everyone has an important story to tell.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Great post Laura! I dread this question FYI, because I rarely tell anyone what I do. Too much explaining:)

Miriam Forster said...

I love this! I'm trying to say "I'm a writer" more in answer to this question, and it's really funny how people react. Like they don't know what to say. Makes me giggle inside. :)

Laura Marcella said...

Margo- Humility is a good one. It's something we develop throughout the entire writing process, from research to writing to publication and beyond.

Lindsay- I heat you! It can be very awkward, especially for me since I'm no where near being published.

Miriam- You should! You have a book coming out soon! You have good answers to those awkward questions. Embrace it and enjoy!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Writers need to be able to deal with rejection - which they do, but it's hard!

Laura Marcella said...

Susanna- Too true! I hear it doesn't get any easier, but you do learn to handle it more constructively!