Writers may sound cool online or on paper, but in real life, I can almost guarantee they’re not. Even the coolest seeming writers are really dorks at heart. And most will admit it. At one point or another, they felt different, awkward, weird, detached, etc. …… or how else could they develop that sense self-awareness that make a writer, a writer? Here’s a few reasons why they’re just not cool, in creatively-taxing list format:
1. They read too much.
This goes back to the cool-kid mantra of “Who reads?!” And who reads? Good writers read… a lot. Successful ones usually develop a particular subject they like to write a lot about. And doing so involves a lot of reading. And thusly, a lot of time spent alone, internalizing and just thinking. And it’s never cool or exciting to watch someone read. Ever. They’re essentially bookworms, and they’re not too cool for school. They like school. Cool kids don’t, bro.
2. They’re observers.
Not always in the literal sense, but it’s a writer’s job to notice details and little things about situations, even if their physically in the middle of something exciting. It’s their job to simply care, and in my mind, that’s the opposite of being cool. Being cool is to be aloof… to have that quality where people notice you before you notice them. Writers can look the part (because anyone can toss on a black leather jacket… or whatever piece of clothing you think is cool), but truly cool people just naturally attract attention. Rarely do they give it. It’s just their thing.
3. Writers are people-pleasers.
A successful writer has to care a lot about what other people think. Because if people don’t like what they write, they’re not going to read it. And if people don’t read what you write…. what’s the point? Writers have to be people-pleasers. And that is not cool. Cool people don’t care what other people think. Cool people say “F-ck it!” and mean it. Writers say “F-ck it!”, and then wonder if they should’ve said “F-ck that!” or “F-ck this!” or “F-CK!” until someone says “that was funny”, or good, or gives them some other form of validation. It just can’t be helped.
4. They’re kind of the Grammar Police.
It is never more annoying when someone corrects your grammar in front of people or complains about someone else’s. It doesn’t make anyone look good, and they sound either elitist or like a crotchety old English teacher. But writers have to pay attention to grammar. Just because they might not say anything when someone says “You’s guyzzzz” or sends a lazy text full of sh-tty abbreviations, it doesn’t mean they’re not cringing on the inside. Cool people don’t pay attention to that. Cool people break the rules, they don’t enforce them. Even when it comes to language. And writers are slaves to it.
5. They’re honest… too honest.
Writers like to share. Whether cloaked in metaphor or spewed across a page confessional style, writers like to share their honest feelings, thoughts, hopes, dreams, bathroom habits… almost anything. Cool people… don’t. Cool people are so cool, they don’t need to talk about themselves. Other people do it for them. They’re not dishonest, they just don’t always need to say something funny or clever to get attention. They already have it. It’s science.
Overall, writers are not a cool people. But that alone is what enables them to be writers. They have to be nerdy and self-aware and eager to please and honest. That’s all part of capturing the human experience, and it’s just their job to do it.