Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yay for Nerdiness

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?


Connie said...

My nerdiness: I write novels, homeschool my kids, and grow orchids.

Miss Leah J. Wilde said...

My nerdiness - attending conventions dressed in steampunk outfits or as a comic book character. Movie and comic obsession.

My boyfriend hides his nerdiness. I think its sad and that he should wave his nerd flag proudly.

anachronist said...

My nerdiness? Writing a blog in English despite the fact that I live and work in a non English-speaking country (so most of my friends don't understand a word ;p ). Reading steampunk. Cross-stiching when most of my peers consider it the height of kitch. Do you think I am weird?

Hema P. said...

Haha, great post, Rowenna! If only everyone likes who they are! I love history, always have even when I was younger, and never made bones about it. I also love gardening enough to think weeding is therapeutic :).

Carrie C said...

Yay! Great post! I am addicted to D&D, never watch television, am clueless about pop music, and love with a double heart history and language. I agree, it's great to 'meet' so many people who own their eccentricities!

Ax said...

Yeah, but you're an awesome nerd ;p Personally, I hide my nerd tendencies with talking dirty, lots of coarse language, a whiskey habit, and exercise, but that doesn't mean I can't spend hours researching in a library, go off on a tangent about this or that author, or enjoy a Masterpiece Theater Jane Austen flick. And my Klingon isn't conversational... so far. Great post. Long live nerds!

MrsC said...

Great question! I quilt and particularly like to make teacosies. I love sci fi and fantasy and know more about the Discworld than I do about Earth. Have no idea about modern music, I do jazz, Irish and folk and '80's. I obsess about correct use of apostrophes. I bake cupcakes, make costumes...the more I say the more obvious it is really! hehehe. Aren't we the best! Of course I am the age when Revenge of the Nerds came out and vindicated nerds everywhere. Great movie.

Maybelle Leung said...

Yay for nerdiness. :) I think it's great to have interests and be passionate about things; it makes life so much more interesting. I used to "hide" my nerdiness - as in, I rarely brought up my own stories or interests because they felt irrelevant to the real world, but now I'm starting to pursue hobbies with friends of similar interests, and that has actually opened a wealth of experience.

Hmm my nerdiness? I dropped in to a beginner fencing class at university with a few writerly friends who were all obsessed with "weird" hobbies, creative writing, and history xD and it was the best thing ever; the building was one of those historical, stoney ones, we ended up sparring in the hallways (real swords echoing against stone walls - just like the Count of Monte Cristo !) because there was no room to practice. I'm still extremely n00b at this, but it was lots of fun <3

Other than that, I'm a big Classical music and art history nerd (a friend asked me about my artistic life once, and I ended up talking for 2-3 hours straight about Chinese landscapes, Vermeer, etc. etc. @___@ I felt so bad for her!) I'm also writing two "novels", one about highwaymen and treasure, the other about a fallen angel, so half the time I'm submerged in those words, drawing maps and characters during class and uttering bits of dialogue to myself in general.

Darlyn (Your Move, Dickens) said...

This is a great post. I'm currently college student, and I completely understand the "pressure" to behave or look a certain way.

Regarding my nerd flag... I'm a nineteen-year-old who blogs about classics. Also, I write. :)

mesmered said...

I hate flying and am happiest in my own little tiny conrer of the world. Amongst my peers, retirees all, the closest thing to Nerd is giving up on travelling. But I've done as much as I want and am content to just sit and write!
They look at me and say:'REALLY?'
I answer: 'Really!'

Brownpaperbaggirl said...

Nerds of the world unite! :) Some of my nerdiness consists of discussing authors and characters as if I knew them personally, carrying around a book with me, and watching CBC films in abundance.