Like real people do | scattered personal musings

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

A lot of my writing is geared towards a focus: something my audience is interested in, topics chosen carefully and curated from analysis, insights and my expertise. Which is really fun for me. I have a very analytical mind.

But one of my goals in 2022 is to incorporate more fun and pleasure into my life — everything from watercolor painting for fun, wrestling with my cat each day, DMing a DND game for the first time and writing more for fun — and less for ~REASONS~

A goal I had initially set in 2022 was to be a consistent writer. I also thought I’d be getting a full time job. I’m now on day 3 of being a full time independent contractor and — can confidently say things are not as I expected.

They’re much better.

I’m finding myself more drawn to connecting with my people, my friends, my girlfriend and wanting to be more intentional with those connections. For the first time in months, I had zero meetings yesterday (Tuesdays are notoriously a busy day for me) and I worked really hard! I’ve equated productivity, success and focus from a rather uncaring perspective: if I just work harder, focus better, I’ll be more successful.

But I’ve eliminated the curtain of excuses. There’s a sticky note on my computer monitor that says “i really need to quit my job i think”, I didn’t date it, but i know it was sometime in January when the frustrations of the job search were catching up to me.

This post isn’t intended to bring you along in any direction, I’m not thinking about keywords or user hits or getting comments or applause. I’m just writing, this is my voice, this is how I write and how I sound on the page.

I somewhat sarcastically labeled this post “like real people do” after the Hozier song because I not only often feel like an alien among people, or like some sort of half awake android. Not in the tired explanation of distance or apathy but in the representation of choosing to do things differently. I’m neurodivergent, and I experience stress and productivity and achievement differently than other people. I can own that now, even if I’m not entirely sure what it means.

In 2022 I asked myself to consider writing more for fun, writing in new ways to grow all of my muscles as a writer, not just what I could do to make more money or make my clients happy. I don’t believe there’s a perfect balance in this, but rather following the ebbs and flows of my creative passions. I’m going to listen closely this year, to the times when all I can muster is technical writing for work, and times when the drafts of my poetry book grow by 13–20 pages a night.

I have to believe I am a writer, because I am one. I know the terms and definitions have changed and shifted, but I have and will always be a writer. Transformed in different shades, shapes, genres and challenges as my energy moves and reverberates through time.

I cannot expect myself to show up in exactly the same way to create, produce and write every day, moment or morning. I can expect that I will show up, in one way or another. Because writing is still writing whether it’s a few phrases in a notebook, a 2k word fanfiction oneshot or a 1600 word blog post.

I have always loved reading and writing, and will continue to love these mediums as I not only embrace and enjoy them but as I work towards creating my own mediums of writing for others to read and enjoy. I am perpetually a student not yet a teacher, and never a master of any complete subject.

In one of my favorite movies, Treasure Planet, I so deeply relate to Jim Hawkins as he takes in the universe, and comes to terms with the fact that his experience isn’t what he imagined it would be. In many ways, it’s better. The path uncharted is the most exciting, and choosing to literally leap out into the expanse at the chance of knowing the way is thrilling and enticing.

Jim Hawkins may be a figment of dreams, aspirations and ideas from real and “not” real people, but I find his struggles and challenges familiar. Jim is disappointed in the world, in the people around him, and sometimes betrayed. He’s told to walk one way and stubbornly chooses his own path, makes mistakes, has regrets, and still continues on as his chosen family swells behind him.

I love his story because it fills me with pride. Jim Hawkins is a proud being, I want to be proud of myself, my path, my work, my decisions. In many ways Jim is a reformed people pleaser, choosing to reflect back his own light instead of others opinions of him. In this I relate, I want to be open and receptive to change, and still sure of my own abilities and potential for growth.

Y’know, like real people do.

I have no idea if this will resonate or make sense or be one of those pieces of writing I go back to and remember what a weird brain day it was. But I liked writing this, I liked sharing my stream of consciousness with you, and I might just come back and do it again sometime. Writing is a language, not the most perfect form, but one of the most challenging to learn in its fullness. I have always chosen writing over oral communication because writing limits the purview.

This is challenging for a lot of people, not having a chance to imply tone and expressions — but this is precisely why I’ve found such a love for writing. I find writing to be melodious and wonderful, full of potential and the capacity for words endless. It is different from speech, for certain. Not better than, just different.

Where does writing take you? When was the last time you created something simply to create it — not to be good at it?

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Liz Brinks

Liz Brinks

Hey, I’m Liz Brinks (they/them) I’m a queer gender-non-conforming writer, business coach & cat-parent (@itsjuustliz everywhere) based out of Wisconsin!