The Writer Personality

*This article will contain spoilers from episode 8 of 13 Reasons Why

At the beginning of every month I sit down, take out my diary and plan my blog posts for the month. Any piece of inspiration that I’ve gathered gets organised. But sometimes, in between the lines, little thoughts pop up that can’t be ignored. As a writer I feel the need to document and as a blogger it’s nice to share myself personally. Therefore, sometimes I find myself throwing out the schedule and writing freelance – as I am now.

Once again I have found myself on top of the band wagon and appear to be watching the same programme as every other avid Netflix viewer (which came from a novel by Jay Asher). Popular Netflix original, 13 Reasons Why, has taken social media by storm. I’m sure there are reviews everywhere – perhaps I won’t write one myself because of this – but there is one line that sparked me into writing this post.

13 Reasons Why is Hannah Baker’s story of a life leading to suicide. An enthusiast on psychology I was drawn to the program immediately. What I didn’t expect was to hear these words:

“What you wrote, you can’t teach that. You have to live it.”

Nor did I expect the amount of thought this would generate in my mind.

This is a response from a classmate about a poem Hannah wrote. By now they know she has a few problems which they describe as drama. But these are not just little dramas to Hannah and poetry is a short term solution to easing her troubles.  What caught me – the way her classmates distanced themselves – was me questioning, is that a writer?

Writers as well as other creative minds, raise a stereotypical image of being lonely, dark and depressing. I’m not a stranger to feeling misunderstood when writing stories of people who crave death and think the sky is concrete and the ground is a white build of condensation. I’ve bared the brunt of questions regarding my mental health and wondered whether possibly they could be rightly directed. And I’ve written so many times to ease the paranoia that the world is more black and white than colour, hoping to share something – anything ­– that can touch someone into believing their existence is not confined to their state.

Then I fit the stereotype though unwillingly. Should we carry pain to help others release it: Was that the role I chose when my seven year old self – unknowing of anything like this at the time – decided she wanted to be an author?

Maybe by thinking too deeply on this I am proving the point. In all honesty I think social media has done an exceptional job at improving the stereotype with people agreeing we all appear too happy and probably flaunt it, if not fake it all together. But with the rise of blogs and YouTube and Instagram and all the other platforms I’m quite grateful there’s a place that proves writers aren’t a society that carry pain for everyone else. All while being sorry we seem to have a compulsory personality that can make or break not only our careers but our lives.

I really have had a lot of thoughts about this topic (more than I can type coherently) and I hope I have conveyed them well enough for no-one to be offended! Nonetheless I would love for the discussion to stay open, so please leave any thoughts in the comments and support the community respectfully. What do you think of a ‘writers personality’?

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