(If you prick us, do we not say “YEE-OUCH!?”)
if you’re a writer or other creative, you’ve likely been told not to “take things personally,” or to “grow a thicker skin.” You may have been led to believe this is an essential part of the business end of your art. You may even have been encouraged to view anything less as a sign of personal weakness or fault.
Well, I’m writing today to tell you a) all these things are essentially lies, and b) there’s a book all writers need to counteract them. Heck, it’s not a bad read for other creatives as well. It’s called The Highly-Sensitive Person, by Elaine Aronson.
Why writers need this book
High sensitivity is often confused with shyness and introversion, but it’s actually a difference in the way the brain processes information. HSP’s couldn’t change if they wanted to, which is why telling them to be less sensitive is like telling brunettes to stop having brown hair.
I honestly thought there was something wrong with me until I read this. (okay, so there is a lot wrong with me, but that would fill a separate book). On every page I was like, “YES!” And “OMG, that’s me!” It finally lent validity to the things I’d been thinking and feeling for over thirty years.
Writers need this book to gain greater understanding of themselves or other creative people in their lives—who may actually be an HSP’s (Highly Sensitive People) in disguise! I know I am.
The book writers need to fight back
I think the problem is that, too often, being highly-sensitive is viewed as a weakness, almost like a medical condition. Something to be “coped with,” “treated,” or “minimized.” But in my mind, HSP is akin to synesthesia; a neurological superpower, if you will. Definitely more of a strength than a weakness. I know it’s made me a better writer, and (I would argue) a better human being as well.
Wouldn’t it be cool if HSP’s had real superpowers? We’d wear capes and everything! Our powers would be . . . I don’t know . . . being creative all by ourselves, and finding joy in solitude. Yeah, take that, Green Goblin and Paralax.
What are some other books writers need?
What are the key books writers need, in your opinion? What helps you deal with the emotional aspects of being a creative? Tell me in the comments!
(Image by JacobEnos)