5 Misconceptions about Writers
Every person is unique, no matter whether they are a writer, a painter, an artist, or an office worker. Everyone has their own story and personality. However, writers, and artists in general, have been attributed with certain personality traits, behavioral patterns, and lifestyles that are quite wrong – or at least, not what they appear on the outside. For that reason, below, we have presented some of the most common misconceptions about writers that we face every day, some of which are believed by actual writers.
1. Writers are born
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about writers. We are all born different, but education, growing up, culture, and many other factors have an effect on who we become once we reach adulthood. Of course, some writers do tell how they were stringing words at the age of six – but that doesn’t mean that it’s the age when your inner writer comes to the surface. Sure, some people are born storytellers – they will always be the ones who entertain everyone at a gathering with their stories. That’s called charisma. If you put that person in front of a blank page, they might not be able to write a single sentence, let alone a story. Being a writer, like any other profession in life, is a choice. And like any other profession, one needs to learn and practice the craft constantly. No one can rely on being born a writer to actually be a writer.
2. Writers write in cafes
Think about it – cafes are busy places. People come and go, there is noise, and the light might be wrong, and the baristas may be loud, there might be an incident. Of course, there are some writers who do go to cafes and write, but there are other writers who need a room where they can be alone. It all depends on the person. Yes, in theory, a writer can write anywhere, as long as they have a laptop and an electrical outlet nearby in case the laptop dies, but that doesn’t mean that writers write exclusively in cafes. In fact, if you see a writer in a café typing away at a laptop, turning their head around to look at the people and the place, they might just be chasing inspiration and waiting to come up with something. The chances of a writer doing serious work at a busy café are very slim.
3. All writers are novelists
We live in 2017. A simple Google search can tell you just how many blogs are out there. Then, there are the freelance writers, the book reviewers, journalists, philosophers, non-fiction writers, and teachers. Most of the content you read online (barring social media) is written by writers, even if you are reading a blog post of a cable company. All of the professions listed above have writing at its core – all of those people are writers, even if they are not novelists. Of course, most writers want to publish books – but those books don’t necessarily have to be fiction. They can be non-fiction, poetry, memoirs, and others. After all, not every genre out there is rooted in fiction.
4. Most writers become teachers
A common misconception is that most English majors become teachers later on in life or immediately after graduating. That’s not necessarily true, although it does go with the territory. But, there are writers out there who are not English majors – in fact, Isaac Asimov, a science-fiction writer from the Golden Age of Science Fiction from the 20th century had a PhD in Biochemistry – not exactly a Fine Arts field. In modern times, there are writers who are a history major, or engineering, or technology. Writers can have many different backgrounds, and not all of them need to be rooted in English literature or teaching in general. Moreover, if a person says that they want to be a writer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will become a creative writing teacher when eventually they don’t make it as a writer.
5. Writers are secluded
Writers write in solitude. The mechanics of writing involve sitting down and putting words on a page without talking to another person, having phone calls, or random conversations with other people. But, that doesn’t mean that writers never leave their home. In some situations, of course, a writer will not leave the house to write because they are having a really good period, writing wise, and want to take advantage of it. But that doesn’t mean that when the writing period is over, they will remain at home. They go out, have vacations – even have professional sorts of vacations where they visit a location they want to write about (if they can afford it of course). But that doesn’t mean that all writers are secluded introverts who do not wish to enjoy human interaction and communication. Writers draw from themselves, but from the real world as well. Depending on the personality of the writer, they can be introverts or extroverts, they can be outgoing or prefer to stay at home. In the end, it all comes down to the person, not the profession.
Also published on Medium.