Misconceptions about writers

(I’ll be generalizing a bit on this post.)

When you think about writers, what comes to your mind? What do you imagine them doing? How do you think they go about their days?

We usually form ideas based on what we see of people’s professions in movies, TV, and books, but some creative licenses are taken to either make stories more dramatic or so that they fit the storyline (e.g., Anastasia Steele’s job promotion in Fifty Shades Darker, the things doctors do sometimes on medical dramas or the way the police conduct investigations in their shows, plus all the skipping of time-consuming paperwork in every crime procedural).

This can lead to different ideas about what writers do (or don’t do).

For starters, there’s the financial aspect—most writers either have a part-time job or a full-time job, unless their job is actually writing for a newspaper, magazine, website, etc.

Secondly, we’re not all solitary introverts without a social life. I have a big family and many friends, and I love spending time with them. Sure, there are times when I might get an idea and may want to grab a notebook and leave wherever I’m at, but that rarely happens. And besides, if it’s a really good idea, it’ll probably come back.

The final misconception I’m tackling today is the notion that writers have complete control and final say on every step of the publishing process (cover design, the text for the blurb, layout, distribution, marketing decisions, etc.). If you’re thinking about self-published authors (such as yours truly), you’re somewhat closer to reality, although most self-publishing houses usually include by default certain format and commercial aspects that can’t be altered. When you’re published by a publishing house, there are more professionals involved throughout the process.

Do you have any other misconceptions about writers that you’d want me to look into? What are the misconceptions of your profession?

Moira Daly

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