Please indulge me for a moment as I get something off my chest:
Why are so many writers/bloggers using negative terminology to describe their interests and pursuits? It bothers me to see someone apologize for their “geeky” behavior or downplay their intellectual curiosity with other dismissive words. Some might say they use these words to show its okay to be smart, but I think the opposite is true.
Almost everytime I see terms like this used, a writer/blogger is expressing something about herself that she’s uncomfortable with or worried might be viewed as stupid.
It is especially bothersome to hear those of us who work with or write for children describe themselves in these ways. Kids need to see the rich benefits that come from curiosity and life-long learning. Let’s not negate in ourselves the very things we are trying to encourage in our children.
What’s your take on this?
Katie Ganshert says
I think if I do it, I don’t realize I’m doing it. Thanks for bringing this to attention. 🙂
You know I’ve never thought about this before, but I think you’re right.
Kristi Faith says
Like anything in life, it is true that we need to use positive terminology. I took a whole course on it and it goes soooo deep. I mean, things like “I love you to death.” That’s not appropriate to put love with death. Anyway…off the point (still taking pain med for tooth) I think it’s part self confidence issues-which is especially common in writers that haven’t had the support of others-and part needing support but not knowing how to ask for it.
PS: If I do it, I don’t recall, but it’s purely insecurity, I admit it. LOL (Sorry, not that that’s a valid excuse. Ahem, I should probably stay off blogs for a moment.)
Great post, I’m glad you wrote it out and got it off your chest. It’s a good reminder for all of us.
Caroline Starr Rose says
No apologies allowed! And I hope no one is reading this as condemning. I’ve realized myself how often I dismiss something I’ve said or done as “flaky.” While maybe not a big deal, it has made me think about the messages I send AND the things I believe about myself.
Rosslyn Elliott says
When I use the word “geek,” I actually do it with pride. It’s a countercultural thing for me–I reject the teenaged emotional values that tell us that money, clothing, and trends should be our top priorities. It has been quite a shock for me to realize over the last ten years that for many people, high school never ends! There’s nothing lamer than thinking that adults still live their lives trying to be “popular.” What a waste.
But you make a good point. I don’t want people to misunderstand what I say, so perhaps I will think more carefully about how I write.
Caroline Starr Rose says
Rosslyn, I get you. I always thought adults would act like, well adults. It was disappointing to find some are still kids in grow-up bodies.
Frankie Diane Mallis says
Good point, everyone should be proud of what they do and what they are interested in! But it can be hard to worry about public perception especially when you’re putting yourself out there on such a public forum. Sometimes I wonder if its an attempt at modesty though, not wanting to sound like your showing off or something. But yah, good post!
Shannon O'Donnell says
You’re right. I never really thought about it before, but you are absolutely right! 🙂
PJ Hoover says
Ditto what Rosslyn said. I love being able to tell kids I’m smart and be proud of it. I think it sends a nice message to say “hey, I love Star Trek, and I still manage to match my clothes each day.”
Andrea Cremer says
Good point, Caroline. Though I think recently “geek” and “nerd” have been reclaimed and made shiny good. “Geek” is the new vampires.
Stephanie Thornton says
I’m a total nerd and proud of it! I’ve even posted on my blog about Star Trek. 🙂
And I’m not sure why children’s writers are looked down on. Without those books how would kids get turned on to reading? And to be honest, while I love literary fiction, there’s a lot of middle grade and YA out there that’s a whole lot better!
Caroline Starr Rose says
Good discussion today! Thanks for joining in.
I totally agree. I think it’s simply a self-confidence issue with some, and I can only imagine that shows through in their work. If you don’t feel your work is valid why should anyone else?
Jemi Fraser says
I agree! There is a difference between confidence and arrogance, between humbleness and self-deprecation. We shouldn’t cross those lines!
Bethany Wiggins says
I love to write. There is not better job (except maybe being a mom, but that is questionable at times ;-D ). So I don’t get why others feel the need to tarnish themselves a little bit.
Tabitha Bird says
Good stuff to remember. I think we all have moments of being unsure about something we do or love, but in the end, who cares? Stand loud and stand proud hey.
Lisa and Laura says
What an interesting perspective! You know, I’ve come to pride myself on being a nerd, but I guess that young adults might not have that perspective yet. I’ll definitely have to keep this in mind…