One of the keys to being a good writer is to be a keen observer of human behavior and life in general. No matter what genre you write, observations and experiences from real life impact your writing; and so the more you can observe – and think about what you observe – the better.
Ever since I dyed my hair blue, I’ve observed some very interesting behaviors from people around me. Nothing bad – and even those few who have said in one way or another that they don’t like my hair have still helped me by adding to my list of observations. I’ve even gone so far as to say, when people ask me why I colored my hair, that I’m doing research for a novel. In response to that, I’ve gotten blank looks, and someone asked me when my book was coming out.
Note: I’m not doing research for a specific book – I’m just doing research on human behavior, as I mentioned at the beginning. No matter what the response is to that statement, or my hair in general, it’s research. So thank you, one and all, for helping me to become a better writer!
Here are some of the most surprising things I’ve observed during the past six months:
“I wish I had the nerve to do that.” Countless people have said this to me. Some have said that they wish they could do wild things with their hair, but because of their job (usually a high position in the corporate world) they can’t. I can understand that. But what has truly surprised me is the number of young, “edgy” people who have said they wished they had the courage to color their hair. I have had people with tattoos or piercings say this, and also have had hair stylists and other people in the fashion industry say it. It took a lot of courage, yes, for me to initially take the leap and turn my whole head blue, but I didn’t realize how many people don’t feel that they have the courage to make a drastic (but still temporary) outward change.
Let it go! My hair is a bit more purple now, since my stylist used only purple dye for my last color touch-up. But for a couple of months there, my hair was a bright blue. During this time, the most common comment/question I got was: “Did you color your hair because of Frozen?” Um, no. Why? Last time I saw the movie, Elsa had blond hair. I eventually figured out that people were probably saying this because my hair was the exact same shade of blue that predominates the film – especially in the opening title sequence. Even after I figured out the reasoning, it still startled me every time someone brought it up. I even had – on more than one occasion – a random person come up to me and start singing “Let it Go.” Kind of surreal – it was like being a musical where someone spontaneously bursts into song. I’m the creative writer here, and even I couldn’t make this stuff up.
I’m more tolerant of other styles. I’d like to say that I never judge a person based on their looks, but I’m afraid that I have – probably more than a few times. We all try not to judge by appearances, but let’s face it – appearances are what we notice first. We make certain assumptions about that girl with the pink Mohawk and the lip ring, or that guy with the rat tail and wife beater. And even if our assumptions wind up being true to one degree or another, there’s still a human being under that clothing and hair, a person with their own unique strengths and dreams. I’m sure a lot of people make judgements about me (that they never would have made if I was still my natural blond). Because I can now see things from the other side, as it were, I try to be more outgoing and comment positively on looks I like or that are unique.
So this has been my diary of my blue hair! I’m enjoying the color – and the whole experience and everything I’m learning from it. Here’s to six more months as a blue-haired gal!