Interestingly today alone, I have come across five writers, all in various stages of creation of their particular brand of brainbarf, but each of them work within the IT industry. Sure, there are plenty of different people writing, but it got me to thinking about the types of people that tend to want to become writers. I know of another two or three people personally who are also in the IT field and want to become a published author, so is this some consipracy theory? Are the radiation or magnetic fields coming out of our computers and screens and servers melting our brains in such a way that we, who brave the IT Industry are compelled to want to write?
It’s an interesting concept, one – I admit – that is probably not fully formed as I type this, but an intriguing one nonetheless. It makes me stop and ponder, eyeing critically those who sit around me at work wondering if they too have crazy characters running rampant around in their brains dictating to them what and how to write, or if it’s just me.
When delving deeper in to that thought, what makes someone want to write, I kind of come up blank. I don’t know what urges me to write. I just want to.
I love the English language, I enjoy expressing myself through the written word, but why am I pushing to publish the brainbarf that I come up with? It’s certainly not for fame or money. We all know that the chances of instant stardom in the writing industry is less likely than winning the jackpot at lotto, so why do we do it? Is it a personality trait? A desire to have our thoughts and creations read and analysed by others? Is it just a happy coicidence that all these technical minded people have engorged creative sides that demand attention? Or perhaps some cosmic force that is guiding us?
I’m not qualified in the field of psychology, unless a couple of short courses in college (Yrs 11 and 12) count, but I wonder if the IT industry looks for or draws to it people who possess the same types of skills. When I look around, I see a myriad of different people, when I meet other IT people, I don’t see them juggling their self-published books ready to hand out copies to anyone who would listen. So, have I just stumbled across a happy coincidence? Perhaps.
Thinking for a minute here on stereotypes, when you mentally picture an IT nerd do you come up with something like this, a lot of people will:
But, what does a stereotypical author look like? Are they the airbrushed sleekness of the high flyers (just look at Stephanie Meyer or J.K Rowling’s mug shot for the inside cover of their books for examples of this) or is it closer to that of the nerd? Is there one at all? Do you see authors and book nerds in the same light? When you think about it, authors and writers are readers first, right? So are authors and book nerds the same people? Do they or can they have the same stereotypes applied to them?
In my search for clarification on this, I headed to the font of knowledge that is Google (typical IT nerd I know!). After a bit of research online, I have seen that a writer is described as being someone who has written a particular text, or a person who writes books, stories or articles as a job or a regular occupation. While being an author gives you the heady claims of creation of the idea, plot, or content of a written piece of work. Interestingly another suggested distinction between the two is that while you can be both a writer and an author (sometimes of the same piece of work), to be considered an author you must have your work published. If you never have your work published, you remain a writer. Do you agree with this definition?
I don’t believe there is one solid answer for this question, that it in fact has many, many different shades of grey answers (no – not fifty either!) Ack. A book reference. I must be a book nerd!
Now I can’t speak for all writers, all authors, IT people or book nerds, but I happen to think I am a sum of all of them (well the authordom will come soon!!) I don’t fit into any one of those stereotypes comfortably. I like to think that I make my own little bubble that only I can fit into. I forged this bubble just like I do my written work, I pour my past experiences, my lifetimes worth of learning, my beliefs and dreams into it and it evolves daily. Constantly pushing forward into the future me that I will become.
Do you fit any of the common stereotypes thrown about today? Have you located any strange coincidences about certain types of people or types of jobs attracting people with the same traits? What are your thoughts on the difference between being a writer and an author? Share them below and feel free to let your inner nerd show.