Being a writer is one of the more prestigious positions in life. Ask someone what they do, if they say they’re a writer, you automatically go ‘ooh’. It’s impossible to not do that. However, ask any normal person what they do and they say garbage man, carpenter, or mechanic, no ‘ooh’ will ensue. Not too many people are impressed by those professions. Having ‘writer’ as your occupation puts you in an exclusive club. It’s very respected position, well, so long as you actually make money. You still get interest just saying you are a writer, but without the publishing contract, it’s not quite as fascinating.
However, unless you have other writer’s you talk with or to on a regular basis, writing is a very lonely world. Try to explain what is going on in your brain to a non-writer. Most of the time they will just stare at you, blankly. Or they just don’t get what it is you are talking about even if it’s in perfect English. Every once in a while you can explain what your idea is and the other person gets it and participates. But that is on a rare occasion.
No, mostly you are lost in your own world, imagination spewing forth at every moment of the day. Every bit of your life and what you see being cataloged into drawers and files in your brain to be used for a later date. Why, even how you pour your coffee determines something for later use. You may decide that is just how you want your heroine’s grandmother to fix her coffee.
All those little things that may seem ordinary to the general population is being processed and thought about in ways they have no clue. The barista at your coffee shop has no idea you are cataloging her for future use; her clothes are being added to a virtual wardrobe, her hair being discarded for a different style. She’d be offended most likely, if she were to really know what’s going on in your mind.
That police officer might blush a bright red if he knew where you were putting him and with whom. As you undress him with your eyes, you are really figuring out his movements and mannerisms. Yes, I think he might be quite embarrassed.
Then, there are all the books, magazines, music files, and such that are used for writing. That Restoration Hardware catalog for design ideas. The newest pop song on the radio for either an idea, or a lyric or two, or maybe even just the right beat to get you to write.
The ideas float around us, a constant bombardment to our senses. Every sense is on high alert, and whether we write it down in our ever present notebook or scrap piece of paper or we take a mental note, you can bet we are taking note. We are paying more attention than you realize.
You might be disturbed to know what we are really thinking about.
But we each have our own method, and yes, when we can’t throw it back and forth with other writers, it’s lonely. I love when I can talk ‘shop’ with another writer, specifically one who isn’t published. We have that link, the ‘no one knows who I am as a writer’ connection.
Would I change it? Maybe. I might go back ten years and tell myself to possibly consider another occupation, but for the most part I can’t change who I am.
I am a writer. That’s what I am.