The Truth About Writers

There’s a lot of false perceptions about writers out there.

here are some of the common ones I’ve come across and the truth about them.

1. We don’t look busy so we aren’t doing anything

This is the biggest lie of all. Just because people can’t see us working out that scene in our head or we appear to be searching the internet or spending hours on our laptop, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t busy. It’s not always something you can see happening but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t. I hear this a lot – `But you haven’t done anything all day.’ Yes I have!

Circe Surfs the Web, after John William Waterhouse

Image by Mike Licht, via Flickr

Writer’s can have written a blog post, read an e-book, done numerous daily writing challenges, written a scene, revised several parts of their ongoing project, thought up new projects and spent ages reformatting said blog posts, all in the time that they appear to be doing `nothing’.

2. If we aren’t published or famous we aren’t a writer.

This is a debated topic. It’s as if to say that because you’re not successful yet or haven’t yet submitted anything for publishing, you aren’t  a `real’ writer. That’s like saying a musician isn’t a musician if he’s not in the music charts!

3. We haven’t made it yet so we never will.

Get in Line

Image by Rennett Stowe via Flickr

Are you kidding me! You reach your late twenties and people start writing you off. I’ve been working on a trilogy for eight years. It may or may not be successful but I’ve learnt something in the process. Many writers don’t even achieve acclaim until their in their forties, at least! Give us time and encouragement. We’re in it for the long haul.



  1. We work very hard. Underlined.
  2. We need stimulation and space in order to think up new ideas.
  3. We hate being told we’re not a `real’ writer and will become defensive.
  4. Don’t ever interrupt us when writing, because we may be on a roll and will lose our train of thought and/or brilliant scene we were working on.
  5. We are not know-it-alls. We don’t think or believe that we know everything (well most of us don’t), we are just over-enthusiastic and like to talk, especially about writing.
  6. We are not perfect. No one is. We try hard to get things written well but will make grammatical errors and/or spelling mistakes and will feel silly when we get caught out.
  7. We like what we like. Sure we may sometimes have eclectic tastes but we need to keep our imagination muscles flexed and that sometimes means we like things that seem `out there’.
  8. When we sound our own achievements, it’s not because we think we’re better than anyone, it’s because we’re pleased and happy and want to tell someone. So if we run and tell you, it’s because we wanted to share our news.
  9. We’ve already thought of all the positive and negative comments and/or arguments and opinions about our work as soon as (and sometimes before) we’ve written anything. Remember, we are neurotic daydreamers who think far too much about everything.
  10. Losing or giving up writing feels like losing a chunk of our soul and so it’s not advisable to ever suggest this to a writer.

Okay so I hope that cleared a few things up. On a lighter note here’s a fun article by Chuck Wendig


6 thoughts on “The Truth About Writers

  1. You’ve certainly hit that subject right on the head of the nail. Give up? I’ve tried – but it doesn’t last. All the time that there’s just ONE PERSON out there who likes what you write, you cannot give up. Who knows – there might be many more who just haven’t found you yet!

  2. “Remember, we are neurotic daydreamers who think far too much about everything”

    This is exactly me. Glad I’m not the only one!
    Great post. Makes me feel better about spending time on my writing instead of feeling guilty that others think I’m ‘doing nothing’!!

    Keep it up!

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