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Crabby, Self Absorbed Schizophrenic

That is what Terry Brooks says I am.

Rumor has it though, that Joshua Bilmes, the proprietor for JABberwocky, disagrees.

Because I am not a writer yet. He says I’m only a wannabe writer because I haven’t finished a book yet. I didn’t get to make the tepid comeback that I had finished several short stories because it was someone else he told this to, about people in general who are trying to be writers crabby, self absorbed schizophrenics.

Still, I like that. I like it that I’m just an apprentice writer, that I have a journey before me.

– Amka leans back in the chair and sighs happily –

I love writer’s conferences.

So, all writers are weird. Interesting that, in a correspondance with a friend, this is pretty much exactly what I said. I told her I was going to “partake of the weird community of writers.” It was pretty much the message of Terry Brooks, the keynote speaker for the League of Utah Writer’s Roundup. Not only that, he informed us that all the writers in our writer’s group think we are weird too, because we are a different kind of weird than they are.

It made me think about the problem of being weird. Writers do so often live on the fringes of humanity. We all accept our eccentricity as part of ourselves because if we don’t, we’ll shrink into our own narcissistic rejection. It is the very thing that makes us good at writing that pushes us just a little outside the norm.

Can we really write about what it is to be normal, to be human, if we ourselves are someone removed from it?

I think some go beyond acceptance writing and embrace this isolationism as a virtue. They dwell upon the Art. They write prose and poetry that is unapproachable by the human reader. Only the educated colleague is worthy to understand the message.

Excuse me while I go retch.

Maybe this is why I love the field of fantasy and science fiction so much. We are writing for people. Other genres do it too: mystery, romance, thrillers, etc. Non-fiction. Just like everyone can appreciate a beautiful rose, everyone can appreciate a good story.

Those of us who write for people are truly serving the Art, because it isn’t only for the initiated acolytes. Art should inspire hope, personal revelation, heroic action, secret enjoyment, gratitude, etc.

But most of all, Art should inspire us to love our fellow human being.

But maybe I’m just weird to think that.

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  1. And here all this time I thought writers were crabby self absorbed depressives….

  2. Think about it though. We often see things that aren’t there, and hear voices, and talk to ourselves.

  3. Did he say that with an humor at all?

  4. He did, Sarabeth. Brooks had the audience laughing through a good portion of his talk.

    It was me that got all contemplative about it. He also didn’t make the direct connection between the weirdness and Art snobs. But he did talk about why we do it, which is to touch people’s lives.

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