This week is, apparently, You are Beautiful week. I don' t know if this is national or just on the college campus where I work, and I wouldn't have realized this if both my husband and my work friend hadn't gone to our campus rec center yesterday. According to their eyewitness reports, there are posters and signs everywhere with affirming statements, including a large white board with "What's your favorite body part?" written on it, surrounded by a cloud of answers. (Sidenote: when you're on a college campus, this is NOT a wise question to ask . Ever.)
Despite the failings of certain elements of the campaign (and I do consider saccharine quotes pasted on the ellipticals not-quite-successful), the concept is a good one. Especially on a college campus--there's so much pressure to look, behave, be seen a certain way. Honestly, it's not like that ever goes away. I bet there are ladies in retirement communities who are still trying to fit the model of what an octogenarian beauty queen should be. And there are always things, even as a purported grown-up, that just aren't "cool" and get you a funny second look from those people who care about things that are "cool."
This is why I love writers. I feel like every writer I meet out here in blogoworld has some wacky hobby or interest (in addition to writing) and they own it. I have met some writers who are into Dungeons and Dragons, have met others who get really into steampunk, or are so obsessed with sci-fi or fantasy that they've learned conversational Klingon or Elvish.
This is so awesome.
I mean, hi. I'm a person who makes historical clothes, calls a cannon by its first name, and thinks rifling through two-hundred year old documents is fun. I dress up in authentic stays and gowns and run around a fake battlefield and debate the proper use of artillery in various combat scenarios. I AM A NERD.
I love finding all these people who embrace their nerdiness, do what they love doing, whether it's "cool" or not. You know what? Not only do I think it makes them better people, I think it makes them better writers, too. You can't care if other people think it's "cool" that you hole up in a coffee shop and make up characters and places and get 100K words invested in them. You have to forge out on your own, and if you tell people "Yeah, I write " you don't really care if they reply with "Wow, that's so cool!" or "Um, and you're not published?" or "Uh, lame." Embracing your nerdy pasttime is just one step in being confident in yourself.
How do you fly your nerd flag?