There are many misconceptions when you're a writer. Some are fun and some are...well...a little crazy. I'm here today to clear some of them up.
#1. This is an occupation you do for the love of it, not because you've made so much money at it, or are independently rich. It's hours upon hours of work with very little pats on the back. You hold out for that one glimmer of hope that will rejuvenate our creative mind.
#2. Romance writes don't strictly think about sex 24/7. Nor do YA authors constantly live in the world of tweens/teens. Horror writers are not disturbed, even if they are a little scary.
#3 Writing isn't the easiest job in the world. I can't tell you how many times I've come in contact with a smart-mouthed skeptic, "Must be nice to get to sit home and type away." (HA! It's much more than that.) I always answer this comment with my business card and email address. "Sit down. Write a story and I'll edit it for free and help you get a query and synopsis done right." No one has taken me up on the offer. :(
#4 We have not read every book out there. We don't know every author there is my name. If we can find time to read in between writing, critiquing, editing, promoting, blogging, guest blogging, interviews, article reading/writing, teaching (as I do), and weekly writers' groups, I sit down to read. It is an essential thing to do when you're a writer. However, it's not something that's on our top 3 things to get done for the day.
#5 As a romance writer I do not have the most romantic life there is. LOL I love this one because it can be a misconception that an author can have fun with. "Oh, your husband must be the most romantic man on the planet." Yup, that's Mark! Every night in bed he flips on Cartoon Network or Adult Swim, we talk about our day and how our oldest will be getting his braces off. How the sweet middle child has been abducted by aliens and replaced with a complaining, anti-social being that is working on our last half of nerve. Then we get to the youngest who's Cub Scout schedule is insane and natural klutziness is only rivaled by Donald Ducks alter-ego, Duck Dodgers. We kiss goodnight, I put in my night guard for teeth grinding and turn off the light, he rolls over and begins to snore. Ohhhh, married bliss! LOL Soooo, romantic!
#6 As a romance write I do not walk around in sexy designer clothes, high heeled fuzzy slippers and makeup on. Nope. Some days you get a woman dressed really nice, or you get flannel. Yesterday I mixed it up and was dressed nice with heels and my long hair in Laura Inglis braids.
#7 Authors do write crap. Yup, I said it. We start off with stuff that is totally terrible and then work hours to make it better. Natural talent, lots of research and studying are what makes us the best we can be.
#8 "How do you find time to do it all?" The question readers don't realize we ask ourselves almost daily. Here's the secret--we don't. Nope, Nada, Never Gonna Happen! Something gets forgotten, overlooked, mixed up and lost. Sometimes it's with writing and sometimes it's with family. Heck, I've shown up for school events a week ahead of time and then forgot about it the following week!
#9 We pull from our own personal experiences to write from. Ehhh, sometimes. While it helps to use your senses when writing so the reader can hear, smell, see, feel and taste the scene, a horror writer doesn't go out and kill anyone to be able to write about it. Romance is much the same. We're not nymphomaniacs. LOL
#10 Nope, can't come up with a snappy line on cue. We aren't performers that can turn our minds on like a trained pet. Many times a really awesome line comes to us after hours of pondering. In a few totally cool cases, they appear from nowhere and spark a complete story or scene. Love when this happens!
Well, that's my ramblings for now. Any questions? Any comments? As readers what do you think/see when you come across an author? Aspiring writers and authors, what are some of the misconceptions that drive you a little batty?
Have a Sparkling Day!
*Friday on Diaries of a Determined Cook, I have my Jambalaya with Grilled Peppers recipe!