It seems any movie I watch that showcases a writer portrays them as a basket case, socially awkward, drunk, or erratic. So, I thought it was high time to divide the truths from the stereotypes.
1. Drunkards. We aren’t all drunks. Actually, at least half the writers I associate with on a regular basis don’t drink. Ever. Case in point: I drink maybe 1-2 glasses in half a year. Which brings me to another point…
2. We Know Our Limitations. Generally speaking, we are well aware of our limitations. Rejection has a way of bringing the stale taste of reality. We’re human and we are reminded of it constantly. The upside of this is that we don’t wilt easily. Determination is in our bones.
3. Creativity is the Name. Words are the Game. Okay, sure, we are creative but just because we can create stories out of thin air doesn’t mean we will be able to invent one to regale guests with at your party.
4. Questions are for Parrots, Not People. It’s charming when someone takes an interest in our work. After all, words are the way to our hearts. That being said, do not, I repeat, do not incessantly ask us how our book is going or if we have a new one out. It’s been what, a month? Give us a break. We are building a master piece, not a five minute paper mache with Elmer’s glue.
5. Personal x 20. Our writing is more than work. It’s pieces of our soul strung together in 500 pages. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. Don’t pressure us to divulge our writing until we are ready. Having it published for the world to see can be scary enough. Let us reveal our soul at our own pace.
6. Advice Column Annies. I can’t speak for other authors but I certainly speak for myself when I say stop asking us for writing advice and then not take it. If someone kept poking themselves in the eye and asks you how to stop the pain more than once, you might lose your tolerance too.
7. So You Want to be a Writer… It is guaranteed that if someone finds out I’m a published author, at least half of the room will tell me they always wanted to write a book but have yet to try it because they still have plenty of time. After all, it’s not like it’s hard, right? Pff. Honey, you have no idea. If writing a novel is simple, why haven’t you done it yet? Stop. Just stop. You’re turning our brain to mush.
8. Romantic as Roses. Sure, I’ll give us that one. If living a love story and reading lengthy love letters is appealing to you, you may have found your match. (Side note: There is a thin line between romantic and poets who cry after Van Helsing. True story. Avoid that).
9. Insane in the Membrane. There are raving lunatics that happen to be writers but I’d wager to say majority of us are actually quite normal, if not obnoxious/opinionated in our particular fields of expertise. Potato po-tat-o, right?
10. Minor Details Matter. Some writers can be obsessive about seemingly irrelevant details. Personally, I excuse myself from those conversations. They are the obnoxious ones I warned you about.
11. Intelligent. You don’t have to be intelligent to be writer but you do have to be an excellent researcher. Because of this, most writers are well rounded in many types of knowledge from street smarts to nuclear reactors. Our search engine history is broad and quite possibly suggests criminal activity (for the next novel, of course).
12. Unconventional. Most of us are unconventional and that’s a good thing. We may question the status quo and think outside of the box which means we can be superb problem solvers. Word of advice: Don’t bring us around Aunt Susie if she refuses to think for herself.
13. Human Lie Detectors (a.k.a Superman without the cape). We’re generally great at detecting lies and uncovering the truths in emotions. How else would we work our magic? Don’t try to hide the truth from us. Chances are we notice more than you think simply by instinct and observation. While we’re on the topic of truths, writers are open books both figuratively and literally. You can find half our lives on the internet because we engage with our readers (curse you, internet). This means we are unlikely to lie about who we are.
14. It’s All About the Books. This goes without saying. We loooove to read almost as much, if not more than, we love to write. No matter if it’s news articles, magazines, or Chaucer. We are never at a loss for words when it comes to literature in any form.
15. Socially Awkward. On the contrary, some writers like myself thrive with social interaction. Spend an entire day writing and you will understand the need to get out of the house. Our hyped life experiences with interesting people often follow us. If you want a good time, you know where to find us. You just thought the story about dancing on the hood of cars with LL Cool J was fiction. That’s cute.
16. Don’t Tell Us What to Do. Don’t tell us what to do when it comes to writing. We spin on the hamster wheel of art and around it goes. Unless you are a fellow writer, your best bet is to be supportive and understanding. Trust me, this will make you golden in our book. Speaking of which…
17. No, the Book is Not About You. You may have inspired it but due to a disclaimer clause we use in print, Jorge is not you and neither is the cabana boy. They are much more attractive. Err… Did I say that out loud?
18. If You Don’t Love to Read, Don’t Ask Us Out. Would a mermaid date someone terrified of water? I think you see where I’m going with this. And by reading I don’t mean comic strips. Also, read our books if you want to understand us.
19. Emotional Pansies. We feel. We write. Then again, that’s also part of being a human. Don’t look so surprised.
20. Flexible Felines. We have no choice but to be flexible. Majority of writers have two or three jobs on their plate in addition to writing. You may think we are rolling in the money from the twenty novels we published but the truth is, few writers make a living purely from writing. If you are looking for someone to give you undivided attention 24/7, don’t date a writer. We don’t babysit. Plus, we need time to develop plots and actually write.
If you’re still curious about our creative genius, visit my blog post, A Writer’s Life.