5 Author Myths Debunked
1. Authors write books like Colin Firth does in Love Actually. They sit at their typewriter in the countryside, with a person serving them food and drink as prose fall from their fingers.
Ahh no. Instead we write at messy desks full of post it notes, index cards, and character spreadsheets. That is when we actually write at a desk. Lost of authors opt for the recliner, the couch, or the bed. And lets not leave out carline, kid’s athletic practices, and coffee shops. The stories don’t stop in your mind just because you’re away from home. Writers write everywhere. I’ve seen authors writing in a hidden corner of the hotel lobby for thirty minutes before heading to a signing. I have hidden in the back room of a seminar to write because the story was demanding to be told. As for the person to magically whip up a latte when we want it? Yeah, you saw I mentioned some of us type at coffee shops, right?
2. It’s all roses and Shakespeare. Ideas flow from our minds with ease.
Where do you get your ideas? This is one of the questions I get asked the most. In truth, I have no idea. I don’t just look out over my desk and become showered with ideas. However, I can tell you when I get them, it’s not when I’m sitting down ready to write. No, it’s when I am in the shower, at a playdate, driving in rush hour traffic, or any other location that is near impossible for a person to write down their ideas. I once chanted an idea over and over for twenty minutes as I drove home. The truth of the matter is, the second you say, “This is great, there’s no way I can forget it,” you’ve just screwed yourself unless you write it down someplace safe.
3. Being an author is glamorous.
Just ask the package delivery drivers, my day-to-day dress is anything but glamorous. Torn pajama bottoms and very worn, oversized sweatshirts is our work dress code. We are not celebrities. No one recognizes us as we walk down the street. People know our characters much more than they know the author that created them. And that’s the way most authors want it to be.
4. Authors write the perfect story the first time.
Ha! Hahahahahahahahaha! We are more likely to want to smash our computer because we can’t get a scene just right. And then come the edits. Editors can destroy a beautiful scene that you have created after hours of hard work. And most of the time . . . they are right. The mental image I get while creating the scene does not always line up with the readers’ viewpoint. We need that criticism to make the story work for the readers. We just didn’t want all those typos and spelling mistakes pointed out too! 🙂
5. Authors are hermits who live and breathe writing.
Yes, writing is a solitary job. No, we don’t lock ourselves in a cabin in the woods for years. Introverts? Sure, we have some of those. We also have some extroverts, lawyers, teachers, stay at home mothers, etc. All you need is to see an author with another author to know this myth isn’t true. We love talking to our readers at signings, seeing our friends at lunch, and partaking in a few adult beverages while playing Cards Against Humanity (chocolate martinis are now on the prohibited list).
Besides all of that, most of us don’t have the time for hiding out at a pond for years. We have spouses, children, school functions, jobs, volunteer work, and so on. Most authors (like me) are all over social media these days. We love hearing from our readers, talking books, and planning the casting call with our readers if our books get made into a movie. 😉 While the act of reading and writing may be things you do alone, the reading and writing community is anything but lonely. So come join us!