Give a writer a pen, and he’ll give you his soul.
But should he?
As social media takes over the world, people have to be careful about what they write on their Facebook page, Twitter or record themselves saying on YouTube. Especially since employers are now not above Googling their potential employees. People have to be extremely careful what they revel.
This can be very disastrous for writers.
Writers experience that constant urge to create, create, create. I can barely exist without a pen tightly tucked between my fingers. Our imaginations continuously drive us to turn a blank piece of paper into lingual art.
But must we always be so personal?
I graduated from University a year ago, and have been on the job hunt ever since. With those constant 15 Things To Never Put On Your Facebook! headlines that pop up on the sidebar of my Yahoo! page everyday, there have been times I’ve grown paranoid about the things I blog about.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve outed myself as a Purell carrying, whacked out hypochondriac, a guy who considers coffee his first girlfriend, and someone who refers to his past weight issue as an alter ego named Big Sam.
Would you hire that?!
I’m actually worried about what I might say on a job interview.
“What are your weaknesses?” is usually a standard question.
“Well, I have self esteem issues that probably steam from when I was relentlessly bullied in grade school and at home,” I can imagine myself replying. “And I have a story about it! Chapter One.”
I admit, to tell a good story, I don’t care at all what I revel about myself. And from reading my fellow WordPress bloggers, I realize that all writers are this way. The only thing that writers care about is that you read our work. It’s the greatest compliment. Seriously! Here goes our deepest darkest secrets! Read!
Imagine how much easier the job would be for police if most criminals were writers. Just put them in an interrogation room, and hand them paper and pen, or a WordPress account.
Sonnets about stolen jewelry for that beautiful girl they stalk everyday. Haikus about the high definition TV they lifted for the World Cup. A personal essay about the dangers of letting a bank teller slip a dye pack into the sack of money.
We’ll revel anything.
I recently had a meeting with a former teacher of mine to talk about job and networking opportunities.
“I’m one of those obsessive compulsive people who sometimes can’t step away from a sink without turning it on and off 12 times,” I found myself telling her.
Paranoia suddenly washed over me, and my body tensed.
Did I really just revel to the person helping me launch my career that I have a touch of crazy? My thoughts cursed me.
“I find myself out there, too!” she replied.
I forgot! She’s a writer! And she proved this by then going on to revel some of the “out there” stuff that she’s done.
The same thing went for the comments on my recent Help! Caffeine Is Out To Get Me! post. My fellow bloggers reveled to me, and anyone else reading my piece, their own anxiety issues, addictions and, yes, even kidney problems.
Non-writers, of course, mainly choose other outlets for expression and dealing with life everyday. Painting. Racquetball. Cooking. But, for me, personally, I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t write about the things that go on in my life.
At my restaurant job, I once had a 20 minute debate about the nature of toast with a disgruntled customer. At my retail job, I rang up a fanatical nut job (redundant?), who not only made racist remarks about an Indian family one cash register over, but also demanded that I hand her 20 plastic bags to hold her one book in, because she claimed she wanted to destroy the environment. I’ve been unable to start a career ever since I graduated. My father died a few weeks ago from liver cancer. And I’m still unable to drink caffeine. If writing wasn’t already my addiction and outlet, it would probably be alcohol. Or sewing.
So, do writers have no sense of personal barriers? Obviously not. We’re a community whose souls have no personal space, and that’s not only normal, but it’s encouraged.
The number one rule of writing that’s been beaten into me is that you write what you know. Whether it’s the lead character in a novel that is loosely based on the author himself, or a reporter whose niche is crime, because his mother was a cop, it comes back to the self. And what do we know better than ourselves?
Who, other than writers, wants to completely revel themselves for all the world to read? Most people are afraid to. But with about 7 billion people on this planet, most of us also have similar life stories. So, others will read our work in hopes of, not only being entertained, but seeing a reflection of their own lives in our stories.
Right now, all over WordPress, writers are hoping readers stop by their blogs, even if it means exposing their own souls. I am, too.
I just hope none of this costs me a job!