Then, I pretended to be back for two weeks but only lied to myself. Why? In researching this niggling issue, I found a meme about the Six Types of Writers, and I don’t ascribe to any but the last one.
- The Angry Young Man/Woman is All about fighting the good fight; they gravitate toward journalism. But they can write anything with passion! Plus Side: Definition of Journalism.Ugly Side: Fiction can tend to have more anger than artistry. Possible Famous Angry: George Orwell and Ayn Rand
- The Greasy Palm is All about the business; the writing is just a prerequisite for the real fun–getting out there and pressing the flesh! Plus Side: Big Time sales. Ugly Side: May make better Possible Possible Famous Palms are Truman Capote and Dale Carnegie, more salespeople than wordsmiths.
- The Ray of Sunshine: Their bubbly, winning personalities send books flying off the shelves, but they may have trouble keeping their feet on the ground. Plus Side: A publisher’s dream. Ugly Side: None. But there is a distinct risk of getting sunburn. Possible Famous Sunshines: Oscar Wilde, Danielle Steele
- The Weird Recluse: Often found in seclusion and shadow, these literary geniuses are apt to pen masterpieces but tend not to leave the basement. Plus Side: Creative and Talented. Ugly Side: No one will know how brilliant they are in their lifetime. Possible Famous Recluses: Franz Kafka, Emily Dickinson
- The Bitter Failure REVENGE, HOW TO GET IT They are the walking undead of the writing world; they stop trying to write and rail bitterly against the “establishment” that conspires against their brilliance. Plus Side: Useful Cautionary Example. Ugly Side: Often seek their vengeance by becoming cruel and bitter editors. Possible Famous Failures: They do not become famous.
- The Space Cadet Constantly, with their head in the clouds, write to empty their heads of the daydreams gathering there. Plus Side: Most imaginative. Ugly Side: If they make money, it’ll be pure chance. Possible Famous Cadets: Lewis Carroll, H.G. Wells
Of the six, I’m most like the person with their head in books and movies, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of my surroundings. I make notes, then can’t find them when I need them and turn into a hermit trying to remember. But dealing with people stimulates the nosy part of my brain, the part that takes a small thing and imagines it to be more than it is. I guess it’s a prerequisite for writing.
So when the opportunity to leave the house to be among people, I can’t help eavesdropping on others’ conversations–because ADD people can’t help doing it.
Recently, someone had a personal crisis next to the Airbnb where we stayed. It was an apartment complex. Residents were gathering in the courtyard, going out for a run, using the laundry facilities, or delivering a package to their neighbors. A lovely girl was living out of her car and asked me if I would make a call for her. Her phone got lost, and it looked like she did too. So I called her mother’s and then her brother’s, and no one answered. Her story was so convoluted that no one in the courtyard believed her. She was incapable of taking care of herself and became combative. The woman bent her toe at an unnatural angle, and her knees had bloody scabs. She didn’t want help. I called the apartment manager, who lives off-site; he verified her identity and took the matter out of my hands but not off my mind. It turns out she lived in one of the apartments and had lost her key, her phone, and shoe. The lass occupied my thoughts for a few days while she was on the property. The police had taken her to the hospital by the night’s end for observation. She set a small fire in her apartment. One of her friends, a minder, babysat her through an alcohol-fuelled binge and called the first responders.
Even though I think of this episode as a tragedy in this woman’s life, she pushed me into writing about it.