Unfortunately, any type of person falls into a stereotype and writers are no exception to this rule. Probably the most common myth is that we work tirelessly without ever taking a break and have barely two pennies to rub together to show for it. This couldn’t be further from the truth, in fact, without running the risk of bragging, I earned a few hundred pounds in the space of a few hours yesterday. The key? Hard work, impressing clients and using your creative streak.
But, one thing I have always stressed is that writing isn’t about money, whilst there is cash to be made, being a writer is certainly a job that you need to be passionate about. Even if I am working on a smaller project or one that doesn’t pay as prettily, I still enjoy the process and it’s true what they say:
Find a job that you love and you will never work a day in your life.
So, what other things do people seem to think about us writers? And is there any truth to them? Let’s explore, shall we?
Coming up with ideas takes seconds.
I won’t lie, in some cases, when my creative juices are flowing, I can magic up a story or an article in no time at all but for the most part, writing takes a lot of planning.
If I am working with a client who has provided me with very specific requirements, it does take a lot of the pain out the the research stages. But when it comes to coming up with an idea from scratch, it certainly takes more than seconds.
It requires brainstorming ideas, researching and organising your thoughts into some sort of coherent order. Then comes the writing portion, which, for the most, for me anyway, happens quite quickly. I am fortunate to be a very adept typist and can easily knock out 2000 words an hour, if I am typing uninterrupted. But despite putting all the words down on figurative paper, there is then the editing stage.
Editing sometimes is pretty easy, but just this morning, I found myself reading through an article on astral projection that I had written for a client and making amendments all over the place.
So no, its not a quick process.
We are the grammar police
OK, I’ll be the first to admit that, as a writer, I am forever noticing grammar and spelling mistakes on everything from the school newsletter to Facebook statuses – does this annoy me? Greatly! However, as much as I would love the whole world to have a handle on the English language, I have to accept that a lot of people simply don’t care. And there’s nothing wrong with this, in the same way that I do not care about car parts but to a mechanic this might be super important.
I reserve my thoughts to myself and lead by example by posting social media content, writing letters and birthday cards and composing emails to the best of my ability and yes, people probably do think I’m a perfectionist, but that’s what I get paid to do.
I remember once driving past a pub and there was a sign outside, just after the car park which read “You have just past the best pub in town.” I almost died and upon pointing it out to my partner, I quickly realised that I was the only one who cared.
We are all alcoholics or crazy
There is the classic image of the bohemian writer, slumped over a typewriter whilst chugging wine straight out of the bottle and whilst there’s no denying that I love a good glass of red, I very much doubt that my writing would benefit from it.
In addition to this, a lot of people believe that we are all hippy types or are one sandwich short of a picnic. Alright, I have my crazy moments like anyone else, but I can assure you that, for the most part, I am relatively sane and easy going.
We are over-confident
I cannot tell you the amount of times that I have sent some work to a client and sat, twiddling my thumbs in anxious anticipation of their feedback. Are they going to think it’s awful? Will they ever want to work with me again? But, do you know what? 99% of the time, they graciously thank me, pay me and quite often place another order. I really need to work on my self-confidence where my work is concerned. I am genuinely surprised every time I get good feedback, so I am certainly anything but over-confident.
One thing that I am proud of is my book. I read it again recently now that the publication date is coming ever closer, to remind myself of the little intricacies and I have to say I was moved to tears by certain parts, laughed at others and fell back in love with my main character in a way I haven’t experienced since giving birth to my children. So I guess you could say I’m confident there.
I genuinely believe that if you didn’t know what I did for a living, you probably wouldn’t be able to guess. I mean, yes, I am a massive nerd, something that, until I became an adult, I was ashamed of but it helps in my line of work. But other than that, I think you’d struggle. So whilst there are things that people think of writers, not all of them are true.
Now I’m off to belittle my friends and their terrible spelling whilst downing three bottles of Merlot. Tchin tchin!