“You are almost obscenely normal, my dear. You really need to let the inner-writer-wacko out more often.” - My critique partner Ico.
Way back ages and ages ago being a writer type meant you were something like this:
A philosophizing old man.
You walked around draped in voluminous robes with one arm raised imperiously in order to appear as sophisticated as possible. These were the guys who shaped the world as we know it, for good or ill, though for the most part we tend to say “good.”
But somewhere along the way, being a writer type came to mean that you were almost guaranteed to be quirky. Maybe this state of wackiness derives from having one's head perpetually in the clouds. Maybe it stems from a need to sail against the wind. Or maybe, after so much critical scrutiny, writers simply come to the point of shrugging off the judgments of other people:
I'm beautiful in my own way, thank you very much.
But what about those of us who aren't really that quirky after all? We don't walk around quoting dead French poets or dress up in flamboyant costumes or stay up all night in our little writing den with a dozen cups of tea and then sleep the morning away.
We can still write... right? We can still be in the club?
You mean you can be artistic without acting adorably weird?
“I think it's part of your mystery that you appear normal on the surface,” Ico continued. “But underneath... you definitely have to be one of those people who only seems mostly normal.”
And maybe she's right. Maybe that's the kind of person I am. Because I am the type who walks into a room and forgets why I'm there because I've been listening to the imaginary people arguing in my head. I'm the type who has a tight little personal bubble, and everything inside it has to be just. so. My quirks aren't always the obvious kind, but if you could come take a vacation in the wilds inside my head, you wouldn't have any doubts that you'd gone some place not-quite-normal.
And that's good enough for me.
How about you other writer types? Just how “not normal” are you?