The stereotypical writer is far from being a human specimen. A writer has glasses, is scrawny or heavy-boned. This is a very particular image we have of a writer. I have glasses, and for most of my life, I was scrawny. Yet, we live in rapidly changing times. We have to challenge these stereotypes and live as we want.
For my entire life, I wanted to be a writer. Since I had this very negative image of a writer in my head, I behaved and looked a certain way. I didn’t care about my clothes, because that’s what a writer does. I didn’t work out, because it’s not what a writer does. This caused me to correspond to the stereotype. Only late I realized I was doing so subconsciously. I had this very perception of myself.
We are in moulding pot for identities. No matter where you look, you are bombarded with advice, lifestyles, and trends. It becomes difficult to differentiate between your own identity and public identity. The change occurs when we think for ourselves. This is a crucial quality for a writer.
Why do we behave a certain way? Is it because we want to do so, or are there other, outside reasons. I always liked sports, especially team sports. As a child and teenager I loved to play football and overtime I took an interest in fitness and bodybuilding. Yet these hobbies didn’t match with the image I wanted for myself. I couldn’t imagine Shakespeare lifting weights in the gym. Often I spent more time at the gym than writing.
Truth is, we are freer than we think. Most difficulties we think of having are constructs of our minds. I always thought to become a writer was the most difficult thing in the world. I thought you need tremendous skill; you need even more luck and have the right connections. This kind of mindset is only demotivating. It doesn’t bring us near our goals. When I finally took writing seriously, I noticed that I had imagined it to be more difficult. But here I was.
Our identity is deeply personal and shouldn’t be influenced by anyone. It should be an accurate reflection of how we are. It’s nothing that has to be found. It already exists. But we clutter it with thousands of opinions and oppressions. Don’t think of yourself as a nerd or as a jock. Don’t impose limits on your personality.
I often experience that identity flows best when letting flow. Don’t think you will one day find yourself somewhere on a mountain. You were always there. You only didn’t see yourself. You brought yourself up that mountain, only to realize that you weren’t seeing a thing.