In his recent newsletter, Jeff Goins, writer and blogger, whose blog I follow, had a statement that made me pause. “Nobody wants normal anymore. We all want weird,” he said. The Internet is a noisy place; if you whisper, no one will listen; if you follow the norm, you’ll miss the boat.
Assuming I was also lumped into the royal “we” who wants weird, I put the statement to a test by examining my reading tastes and habits. I asked myself, as a reader and consumer of printed and online word, do I want normal or do I want weird? My thought process stumbled at yet another question: what is “normal”? And what is “weird”? Then a phrase by Kelly Cutrone came to mind: “Normal gets you nowhere.” This business of figuring out some abstract normal and no more specific weird is quite a doozy, I tell you. What’s normal to me, may seem weird to you, and vice versa. So I’ve finally given it up, for pure lack of abstract imagination.
But the question remains, do I want normal or weird? How weird does it need to get for me to start paying attention? In my interpretation, it means “how itchy and scratchy do I need to get, or how out of place do I need to feel.” As far as I am concerned, I think I’ll stick with normal, whatever that means. I like relevant topics and pretty pictures in blogs, and good plot, characters and dialogue in fiction. Above all, I value good writing that reflects author’s individuality. I like when imagination takes flight, but there is still a sense of reality, at least some reality that follows its own logic and makes sense within its own constraints. And I think what Jeff actually meant by his phrase was “we want individuality and originality, and not some run-of-the-mill mediocre verbiage that is so shopworn, it makes us want to puke.” He just wrapped this long-winded phrase into something punchy, pithy, and … weird. And he got my attention. How cool is that?
Now, what do you think? How weird does it need to get before you start paying attention?