My family has a group text that is about 25% family logistics and 75% jokes, puns, and memes that my husband and I share to torment our teenagers with our nerdy humor. So when I'm online, I keep an eye out for ones that are sure to make them groan.
This one was the winner this week:
It just confirmed my son's suspicion that I will someday meet my end by correcting the wrong person's grammar. He's not totally wrong to think that.
Anyhow, I'm not here to talk about the finer points of venomous vs. poisonous or another perennial favorite of mine, nauseous vs. nauseated (although we did celebrate National Grammer Day yesterday!). I'm here to talk about letting your weird shine through not just with your teenagers, but in your writing.
I'm obviously not a person who uses "weird" as a pejorative term--I mean, look at the title of my newsletter!!!--but it's definitely a word that has been used to attempt to insult me in the past. Maybe you, too, have had that experience, and have thus made efforts to appear "normal," "typical," "mainstream" in your writing and in your life.
But I'm going to challenge you to embrace all that beautiful weirdness and recognize it for what it is: a writing superpower. Because while bullies might be focused on the ghastly/strange/unnatural side of the weird spectrum, I prefer to define my weird as follows:
When you define "weird" that way, doesn't it sound exactly like what you need to make your writing stand out? To make it truly the story that only you can tell? To attract like-minded readers who are ravenous for stories filled with your exact, special, spectacular brand of weird?
When an old friend of mine posted this to social media earlier in the week, I knew I had to share it not with my teenagers, but with you, dear readers.
I knew I had to offer an invitation to let your writing be a beacon to your fellow freaks. To let your special brand of weird shine in your writing. To be the most authentic, delightful, weird version of yourself in your words and in your life.
So get out there and find the specific, the unexpected, the delightful, in your own special brand of weird. Your readers will thank you. And your fellow weirdos will flock to you as well.