• Julie Gray

Writers Are Weird. Thank Goodness.

Do You Ever Sonder While You Jouska? I do. All the time.

To sonder is to realize that other people - all other people - have as vivid and compelling inner lives as your own. To Jouska is to have hypothetical conversations. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows lists twenty-five emotions that we all feel but that are hard to articulate.

That is our job as writers, to write about what we all experience but that most people can't get down on paper. That's what we're really doing, whether we write sci-fi, romance or even a crime novel.

Yes, stories have a universal structure and there are many rules to writing but fundamentally, writers do the important work of getting down on paper those experiences and emotions that we all go through but that are hard to talk about or even describe. There is even a reference book called The Novel Cure, that lists all of the maladies of the human experience and which novels best describe them.

Only connect. ~ E. E. Cummings

That is, in the end, what we humans want. If you are a writer, you may think that you need to write your book - you have to - it's within you and it must come out. You are trying to connect. But it gets better because when you do that, then you allow others to connect as well.

My job is to make sure that you connect well. That your writing reaches its highest potential. I help ensure that you know the rules and know when to break them. I help make sure that issues of structural flow and your voice and style are in place so that your writing makes its mark where it was intended to.

But bottom line, the act of getting words down onto a blank piece of paper (or computer screen) where there were no words before is almost a sacred act. Few people can really do it well. There is much to learn about doing it well, but fundamentally, writing is an act of courage. As a writer you put yourself out there; your dreams, fantasies, opinions and experiences all filter through your writing. Writing is always a confessional act, no matter the genre.

Writers are often a little weird. We observe the world around us intensely. Sometimes we are a little anti-social and usually writers are avid readers. We love to turn inward. Make sure you get what you need in your life in general, if you are a writer - don't isolate too much. But know that what you do is one of the most important motivations in the world - you write. You share. You help us all connect.

Remember that whenever you feel discouraged or disappointed by another rejection or a bad writing day - or no writing at all this week. Keep that front and center. Your writing matters. Embrace your weirdness. You are not alone!

To connect with other writers daily, check out The Fabulists, an online magazine for writers all over the world. And to this blog post, which lists some other Facebook groups where you can find support and camaraderie. Drop me a line personally if you need some encouragement. I might be able to help. :)