Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Who's Normal Now?

I read a comment recently that normal is an odd word. Everyone's idea of normal is determined by their own experiences, beliefs, upbringing, perspective, etc., and since we're not all alike in those aspects, our ideas of normal are going to vary to some degree, thereby making the definition of normal pointless beyond how we as individuals perceive it.

Writers are often perceived as not normal. I've known I was a little bit different for as long as I can remember. I created people in my head and made up stories to go with them. I didn't need anything to keep me occupied; I could live with those people in my head for long stretches at a time. As a very introverted child, I did a lot of observing while other kids were doing. After I sold my first book, my mom was relieved, she later told me, because being a writer meant I was eccentric, not weird.

To the nonwriters in my life, I'm kind of a puzzle. I spend long hours alone; I research wildly varying subjects; I create people, entire families and towns, put them in danger, save them, break their hearts and heal them; I do it all sitting at the computer and looking no different from them when they're Facebooking or emailing; then suddenly, a book appears with my name on it. Most of them think I'm a bit odd.

But to me, this is normal and has been my normal my entire life. I wouldn't know what to do if the characters stopped speaking to me, if the plots stopped coming. I can't imagine what it's like for my nonwriting family and friends to be alone inside their heads.

Normal is in the eye of the beholder, which kind of defeats the purpose of the word, you know?

1 comment:

  1. Lately, I've heard people say "new normal". What does that mean exactly? What does that make "old normal"? Whatever-please keep doing what you are doing even if it's abnormal.