How Writers are Different (A Love Letter)

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We’re just alike you and I, and that makes us different than the rest of the world. Because we are writers.

Years ago, in a writing workshop, I learned about the “we’re just alike” moment that nearly every movie has.  Watch for it and you’ll see it—there’s a point where the protagonist and the antagonist realize they are have similarities as well as differences.  I’m not as up on screenplay tropes as I should be, so I’m not entirely sure of the point, but I do know I see it (when I look for it) all the time.

And that’s how I feel about being a writer.  I’m just like you because we’re writers. We have fictional characters rumbling about in our heads and sometimes they are more real than the people in our family.  We get a glazed look in our eyes in the middle of a dinner party as an idea for a story hits us.  Every thing in our worlds is grist for our writing mill.

And you and I are different than the rest of the world.  There’s the creative tension I talked about last week, for instance.  That alone would be enough to separate us from non-writers. But there’s also the fact that many people can’t imagine spending hours alone at a computer, let alone doing an activity that some hate. Or having the passion to rise early, or stay up late, so you have time to write. Or understanding an arcane language full of words like WIP, pantser, and plotter.

So, what’s the point of all this? (Besides the idea that if you’re writing a screenplay you might want to include such a moment?) It’s that you remember this and honor it.  Because if you honor that you are a writer, through and through, you’ll remember that there’s one key thing that makes us different from everyone else: we write.

So remember it and get thee to the page.  I went on an internet spree while I was writing this searching for a particular quote to include.  Didn’t find it—but found a bunch of others. So I’m going to do something a little different this week and post them here for you.  So that they might help to remind you.  Post them somewhere you’ll see them when you’re tempted to go mop the kitchen floor or reorganize your junk drawer instead of writing.

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”  Oscar Wilde

“The world is a brighter place when we each manifest who we are.” Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness.” Allen Ginsberg

“Don’t compromise yourself—you’re all you have.” John Grisham

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” Rumi

“Follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, stop caring what others think.” Roy T. Bennett

Do you have a favorite quote about writing, or motivation, or inspiration? Leave a comment and tell me, or better yet, head over to the Facebook group and share it there.

And whatever you do, honor yourself as a writer—and go write.

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