10 Writer Stereotypes That Are (Mostly) Wrong #Writer #guestblogger

 

Isabelle Sudron, author and blog author of ‘Sudrobelle’ dropped by the Blondewritemore office last week offering to do a Guest Post. She describes herself as a ‘writerholic’ and shares our passion for list posts.

Without further ado let me hand you over to Isabelle:

10 Writer Stereotypes that are (Mostly) Wrong

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The majority of films and books about writers seem to follow a very rigid pattern, usually following a self-hating, male writer who drinks a lot and isn’t good with people. (If you don’t believe me, check out IMDB’s list of the best 80 films about writers*.) Having an array of friends who write myself, it’s clear to me that we’re a diverse, nutty bunch that rarely fit that stereotype. So, I decided to set the record straight. Here’s a few stereotypes about writers that are not (always) true.

1. Writers only wear black and smoke constantly

Well, as much as it hurts to say, we writers just aren’t that cool. In fact, there’s very little point in us getting dressed at all when we’re having a ‘writing day’. We simply barricade the door shut and hide from the world. Any fashionable-ness would be completely wasted on us unfortunately. Just give us a pair of pyjama bottoms and a cosy jumper!

2. Writers are all alcoholics

The rumours aren’t true, once again! We like a glass of wine as much as the next guy but we don’t all chug bottles of it every night in order to write. Though, admittedly, we may treat ourselves to a glass of red wine and cheese, once in a while, to get those vivid dreams going. (Am I right, BlondeWriteMore!?)

3. Writers are introverted

There’s a historical belief that we’re all anti-social loners and we don’t have any friends. Granted, some of our closer friends may be fictional characters but writers often have many real friends too. There are essentially two reasons for this (other than the mushy ‘we love them’ thing); we need some inspiration for all fictional exploits and sometimes we need a reminder that we live in the ‘real world’.

4. Writers all use typewriters and notebooks

Let’s be honest, typewriters may be trendy props that make us feel like Anthony Burgess in his prime, but they are pretty impractical to use. Not only do you have to slam your fingers down on every key as if you’re writing a passive aggressive letter to your parents, they also don’t have a delete button and they don’t fit in your bag.

Notebooks, on the other hand, we love notebooks! However, most of us rarely actually use these for the bulk of our writing, we just horde them. Or is that just me?

So, as much as we’d like this stereotype to be true, writers generally just don’t have the patience to use a typewriter and notebooks every day. Yup, it’s true, we use ‘modern technology’ just like everyone else.

5. Writers hate their own work

This stereotype is especially true in the media’s representation of writers. Every film you’ve ever seen depicting a writer has likely shown them reading over their own work, suddenly scrunching it up into a ball and angrily throwing it away.

We, writers, may worry about our craft and obsessively edit things but ‘hate’ is really too strong of a word. In reality, we just hate other writers’ work (successful ones, that is). If you could all bring your talent down a notch or two while we write our novels, that would be great – thanks!

6. Writers are pretentious quoters

As writers, and readers, we hold our favourite quotes very close to our hearts. These are the sparks of inspiration that remind us that we can finish our stories and succeed as writers. So, instead of haphazardly throwing quotes around, we often keep them to ourselves. Occasionally we may share them with another ‘writer in need’ but you’ll (rarely) find us reciting Shakespeare at dinner parties.

7. Writers like to be grammar police

There are two different kinds of writers, those who correct your grammar and those who don’t. There is quite a divide between these two parties and neither wants to be associated with each other. Pick your side wisely, writers!

8. Writers are all middle-aged men

After a quick scan through ‘the best books about writers’ and ‘the best films about writers’ I was disappointed to find, almost exclusively, pale, hairy faces galore. I’m sure I can speak for all writers when I say we’re not all white, middle-aged, American men. There are plenty of exceptions and – if you don’t mind me saying – we’re just as good!

9. Writers are careful with their words

Oh no no no, this one is so far from the truth! We all know, writers write because what we say in real-life is often so terrible that we have to ‘redo’ it. Writing is our second chance at getting the words right. Anyone who knows a writer in person will know that we often can’t get our words very, very wrong. How ironic!

10. Writers are fuelled by coffee

… This is somewhat true. Though, some of us get our kicks from tea or smoothies – controversial!
Check out this list!

 

Thank you Isabelle, I think I better return the favour. Check out Isabelle’s blog on Thursday for my Guest Post!

Please drop by the Blondewritemore offices again soon Isabelle, the team thought you were a hoot 🙂

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Photo credit: Photo – Nicholas Cage in ‘Adaption’ (2002). Photo from Nadinhadi

 

 

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

43 thoughts on “10 Writer Stereotypes That Are (Mostly) Wrong #Writer #guestblogger

  1. I thought it would be cool to wear black and smoke all the time. Don’t tell my mom. She says black is not a good color for me because I’m already blaq. What?! White people wear white too, don’t they? And What’s wrong with being the grammar police. Wrong grammar gives me a headache and I don’t even qualify as writer.

    Great post. I’m just happy they’re mostly wrong.

    1. Black is not a good color for you. Hilarious. As you can see in my picture, I’m wearing white. And I am as white as white gets. Mother’s aren’t always right and I say we wear what makes us feel good about ourselves. 🙂

      1. Exactly. She doesn’t get that. And frankly I’m much better at color coordination than she is. But She is a better shopper than I am I swear.

        My favorite all-purpose dress is in navy blue. I always feel ambivalent towards it every time I pick it up because it’s so dark.

        Anyway, imma wear what I wanna wear. Period.

  2. I have a new subject for your next Agony Aunt post:

    Dear Blonde,

    I don’t really drink neither alcohol or coffee, nor do I smoke. I never wear black (our dog sheds white hair everywhere, so all dark colours have been banished from our house). And I put my foot in my mouth all the time.

    Still, I am an introverted, white, middle-aged man.

    Do I have a hope of ever becoming a successful writer??

    1. I loved this post! Isabelle did you proud. I’ll hopefully be able to see what you post on hers. I hoard notebooks and any kind of paper really and I’m an introvert who wears a lot of black. Not a smoker, occasional drinker, and I’m still in my pajamas at noon many days. 😉

  3. I totally get irritated with people who use commas or “it’s” wrong, am constantly quoting but only if lines by Aaron Sorkin in the West Wing count, and am about to go write a blog post on why writing on typewriters makes me a better editor. In short, delighted that I am different.

      1. There are a small but mighty group of us who find them decidedly retro and very helpful. I buy mine mostly at garage and rummage sales (don’t buy them online, people can’t pack them, but ribbons can be ordered online) and find the portables and electrics help with the “must pound the keys” problem. They are excellent solutions to writer’s block (force you away from screens) and I just put up a post at noextrawords.wordpress.com about why they make me a better editor 🙂 Enjoyed the post!

      2. I did actually have one a few years, passed down from my grandad (who also did not pack it well :P) and it was quite distraction free. I think the only reason I didn’t continue was because I moved house and it ended up in my parents’ attic. One day we’ll be reunited though! I will check out the blog 🙂

      3. Typewriters breed. I had an old one of my dad’s when I was little and it eventually got junked, so in 2008 I bought one at an antique store, the first one I really wrote on. I now have 4 that work, 1 that will someday work, 1 that will never work, plus 2 at the summer house so I can get writing done there (one of those my father-in-law rescued from his parents’ house for me.) It can become addicting fast…

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