Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Other Side of Normal

Okay, so that's probably a title of major bestseller or something. I'm too lazy to go look it up. I've just been thinking a lot about what "normal" is for me.

And I've realized that I'm not very normal. At least not the way I think other normal people are.

As a writer, I think that might automatically put us all outside the sphere of normal. When I tell people that I write books, I usually get a reaction like, "What? Normal people do that?"

No, no, they do not.

Because really, who wants to torture themselves over a period of many months drafting, revising, giving your work to someone specifically for them to tell you everything that's wrong with it, revising some more, and then submitting?

It's torture! Torture, people!

And we're choosing to do it!

Why? Why do we do that?

Because we're on the other side of normal. At least that's what I've decided. Because it is not normal to want to put yourself through hard things on purpose. Most of our lives are spent trying to make things easier. Heck, I spray Rain-X on my windshield so it's easier to scrape in the winter, easier for the wipers to work, easier, easier, easier.

Most of us want to operate on the path of least resistance.

But, somehow, writing is not the path of least resistance, and we're still doing it!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we're crazy. Or that what we do is wrong, or abnormal, or anything negative. I've just been thinking about why I keep submitting my work over and over (and over) only to get those heart-wrenching emails of rejection. I must like it. Or I just operate on a different scale from normal.

I'm pretty sure I don't like it, so I'm going to go with being on the other side of normal.

What do you think? Have you ever thought about why you keep trying at this writing thing? Are you operating within the sphere of normal or on the other side?

It's kind of a party over here. We have bacon. Just sayin'.


Eric said...

I thoroughly enjoy counting myself among individuals like you, Elana. Is that the other side of normal? Sure, sounds good to me. Now pass the bacon! ;-)

Angela Brown said...

You know, since I have always been counted as abnormal because I was a nerd, devourer of books and loved anime, I don't think I can say I ever operated on "normal people's" normal. My normal has been different, unique, odd. So yes, I do live on the other side of normal. Always have. Always will. More bacon please :-)

Natalie Aguirre said...

You're right, sometimes, the writing and all the work is torture when so much of the response from the publishing world is no. I can relate on many levels to being on the other side of normal.

Liz Isaacson said...

I have felt this way too! As a writer who's basically been in "hiding" for a while, I'm glad to know there's this other side where writers are.

Stasia said...

I love your honesty, Elana. And I have no answers as to the "why" but I'm with you on that other side and hanging on!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

"Giving your work to someone specifically for them to tell you everything that's wrong with it."

LOL, yup. That's the beauty of an editorial letter. No matter how sugar-coated, tactfully stated, and bloated with compliments ... it's still a list of everything you did wrong.

And that's nothing compared to the Goodreads reviews ...

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