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