I’ve come to the conclusion many times in the past that I am not normal. You who have known me for years online or on various social networks probably already knew that. It’s really hard to hide a lack of normalcy, and I make absolutely no efforts to do so. I’ve never been normal. I’ll never be normal. The difference between how I was a child and young adult and how I am now is simply one very important thing: I embrace who I am now. Other than that, I’ve always just been me. No excuses, no apologies, what you see is mostly what you get, me.
Not everyone is going to like me. That took me some time to be okay with. I am a pleaser, strangely enough, and I want everyone to be happy and love me just as I am. But I know not everyone is going to do that. When I get caught up trying to be something I am not, trying to be who I am not, I become unhappy. When I am around people who don’t like who I am and I act like myself, they are unhappy. So really, it comes down to, I intend to hang out with and associated with people who can love me for and embrace me because of my weirdnesses and differences and personality than to hang out with people who will accept me or tolerate me in spite of them.
I had to tell a friend of mine today that I no longer wanted invitations to associate with her when she associatesll with a particular friend of hers. There’s nothing wrong with her friend. This friend is a great person, big heart, caring, quietly giving, and I am so glad she has this person as a friend. The problem is, it’s pretty obvious this friend doesn’t really like me all that much, and as such, I find myself not being able to be myself around this friend, which isn’t pleasant for me and it’s not pleasant for my friend or her friend when tensions are higher. I just told her, I honestly believe she and I will have more fun and enjoy ourselves more if it’s just the two of us and she would have more fun and enjoy herself more with her friend if it were just the two of them.
Sometimes, friends can form threesomes (And I don’t mean that in the Jolie and Brad and Paul sort of way as in my novella series THREE), but sometimes, they can’t. There isn’t always that person in the middle that holds a threesome friendship together, and if there is, sometimes it really pulls that friendship or both friendships apart. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want that to happen.
But when you spend time out with someone and you find yourself partly wishing you had never left the house, that you had just stayed home and written (which, lets face it, I’d almost always rather be writing than doing just about anything else) then you know that maybe you owe it not only to yourself but to the other people to just take yourself out of the equation.
I’m so going to buy myself a t-shirt that says: I’d rather be writing.
I need an office and an office door sign that says: Quiet, writing in progress.
But I can’t hole myself up in the house all the time, no matter how much I sometimes think I want to do that. Going out takes a lot out of me, because of my health issues, but it’s absolutely necessary sometimes. When I do put out the effort to go out, I want to have a good time, to be myself, and to be comfortable. If I’m with people where I don’t feel I can do that, then the added energy it takes for me to get out and about added to the added energy it takes to socialize when socializing isn’t my strong suit to begin with, that combines to my not having a pleasant time, and that leaves me feeling drained, and that doesn’t inspire anything in me.
So I love myself enough to say, Hey, I don’t like having to not be who I am, and I don’t like for other people to be uncomfortable because I am being or am not being myself–so it’s best for everyone if I beg out of future outings, no harm, no foul, and certainly plenty of love for all involved.
I still can’t help sometimes wishing I were able to socialize better. I’ve never been good at it. I don’t do well in crowds, never have. I can interact with a friend one-on-one, especially if we’re debating–love deep, in depth, intelligent conversations. I can handle small groups, if I’m comfortable with everyone, like my family or something, but anything beyond that, and I lock down emotionally. I’m not an extrovert, and I know that seems strange for someone who has such a big online presence, but you see, I can close my computer any time I want–I maintain control. I used to be a phenomenal public speaker–I could command audience with my presence–seriously. People paid attention to me. People enjoyed my style, my humor, my honesty about stuff when I spoke. But being up on a ‘stage’ like that, there’s a separation between myself and the people.I loved it.
It’s the interaction, the social interaction, that’s hard for me.
My little brother once told me I needed to get out more, that it wasn’t normal for me to stay home all the time. I told him, look, I pay my bills, feed and clothe my kids, they don’t want for anything, my house is clean, and I’m functional in society (mostly)–why do I have to go to a club or a restaurant or DO anything if I really don’t enjoy doing those things? Why force myself to do something in the sake of having fun when it’s NOT fun for me? Worse than not being fun for me, sometimes, it’s draining and downright HARD for me to do it now. Why put yourself through something you don’t enjoy and call that normal?
To me, it seems more sane to do what you enjoy. Doesn’t it seem a little crazy to force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy for the sake of having a good time that you’re not going to have a good time? I mean… seriously?
So yeah, I’d rather be writing. But I also know that in order to write the truth, be it fiction or not, I have to interact with people. I am a people watcher. I can sit for hours on a park bench and watch the people. They are entertaining. I tell stories about them in my head to myself, which later sometimes become characters in novels I write or short stories I create. I like to watch how people handle things. I love when someone drives by and they are singing in their car, alone, just them, radio blaring, pelting out a song like a rock star, to no one listening. I like to watch near-misses with automobiles and how people handle it. I laugh when the person who was clearly at fault flips the bird to the person who clearly didn’t do anything wrong. I like to watch people let others go before them at a stop. I like to watch a child in the park who, when he gets hurt, gets back up and plays like it never happened. I like to watch adults watch children play. They become children again, somewhere behind their eyes, and you can see it happen.
I like the good and the bad and the ugly of society. For me, reality TV sucks, but the real reality in the world makes for better entertainment any day. I like to watch people in weird situations, unique and different situations. I like to watch people.
But I don’t like interacting with them.
And then I go home and I write about those people, those real people. They fill me up. They keep me motivated. They make me read.
Every time I got to a website on a controversial topic, it’s not the article that I read; it’s the comments. I love to see the comments and how people interact. The supportive people. The assholes. The stupid people who don’t know any better and think they are brilliant. The jokesters. The punsters. The love everybodyers. It takes all kinds to make the world go around and the world is definitely full of all kinds of people.
And I hate people. But I love to watch them. I love individuals. I love my friends. But even amongst my friends, there are those who I love very much in how they interact with me, but I sure don’t love how they live their life, how they interact with others, the things they say or do or post. But I don’t judge them by that. I judge people by how they treat me and how they treat those I love when that directly affects me. Judgement isn’t bad. It’s necessary. It’s how we judge and for what reasons we judge and what we do about how we judge that matter. I judge people based on how they treat me and those I love. And my actions are guided by that.
I found out the other day, quite by accident, that a fellow writer, someone I’ve never had a problem with that I know of, someone I’ve even talked to before, has blocked me on Facebook. I found this out because, in an event I participated in, I can see people responding to her, but I can’t see her posts. So I tried to go to her profile, and sure enough, I can’t see it, and Facebook says it doesn’t exist. I don’t know why she blocked me. We never had words. I don’t get it. Maybe I said or did something. Maybe not. Who knows? I certainly don’t know, because she never addressed me about it, but it seems so strange to actually go to the trouble to block someone. Unfriend, sure, but block someone? I never even posted on her wall. I don’t know. Does it bother me? Well, maybe for a little while right after I discovered it, but then I started laughing. I mean, seriously, nothing material changed in my life by discovering this. And it’s her loss if she’s not willing to talk to me and decided to just block me out of existence.
I don’t really need to know the reasons why. But there was a time, oh yes, there was, when that would bother me for days and bug me until I did something about it, wrote to her, wrote someone else, posted on her author’s page I can still see, something, anything to find out why. Because I am a people pleaser and I need people to like me, and obviously, she doesn’t like me if she’s blocked me.
But today, I’ve learned that I can’t please everyone. It’s the same with my books. I won’t make everyone happy. One person said there was too much sex in my erotica. Another said there was too little to call it erotica. Which one is right? If I change my style for one person, I”m more wrong for the other and vice versa. Neither are right; neither are wrong. It’s different styles, likes and dislikes and that’s why authors really don’t compete with each other. They compete only with themselves, to always write a better book than the one before it, but they can’t write a better book than someone else, because they aren’t someone else. Different folks will love or hate it for different reasons, and they can all be right.
Be true to your characters and your readers will come, the ones who like your style, appreciate it, and want more of it. They will seek out your work and follow you. Don’t read your reviews and change your writing. Write for you. Write for the story. Write for the characters.
And watch people.
They really are fascinating.
Now, back to writing.
Love and stuff,
Image by Evers Designs–check out the work she does!
Click the link for her, click the image for my books!