|first of all, we don't all get pretty desks like this|
writers never sleep
This one is hilarious. Sure, my husband and I tend to stay up late. For now. But we like our sleep, and while I have the luxury of sleeping in of a morning (for now), we like to be together in bed at night. Only rarely does a literary whimsy carry me past bedtime. When I do come up with a pithy one-liner or a sparkling scene while I am awake in bed at night, as one is wont to do, I lie to myself, as one is wont to do: "That was awesome. I will remember it. It is too awesome to forget. I don't need to get up. Bed is so comfortable. I will remember it in the morning." And I never do.
writers are exotic creatures
I don't know about you, but when I'm in a social setting (already awkward, especially if I don't know the people present), one of the last things that will make me relax at once is to parade me around as a "writer," a curio of tea-temples and castles in the sky. Being treated as a wild animal from another planet is just the sort of reception a shy personality wishes to receive.
Actually, writers are typically pretty normal. I may get odd looks (these are generally due to my literary and historical references, not in reference to my writing), but I am in desperate demand of the comforts of life: security, love, acceptance, warm food, hot showers, caffeine in the morning, an opening in traffic so I can make the damned left turn. All in all, I'm pretty normal.
writing is depressing, grueling work, full of angst and inner turmoil and an imbalance of the humours and an overabundance of alcoholic beverages
Contrary to what people may think of writers, I am not constantly on the edge of losing my sanity. I am definitely an emotional, sensitive personality, but honestly, I am most sane and stable when I am comfortably following the plot of a novel. Contrary to what people may think, writing a novel can be no more difficult than any other form of work. I certainly find the maplessness of it trying, and I have plenty of fears and concerns, but I'm not a blithering alcoholic with a jaded view of the world, stared out at from beneath the shabby remains of a half-burnt writing-desk. I like writing. Writing is awesome.
(I'm also pregnant, so I avoid alcohol for the sake of la petite renarde.)
writers are obsessed with death and pain and killing characters
Thanks, G.R.R. Martin. Thanks for perpetuating this twisted view of ordinary, sane, well-adjusted writers. We all appreciate that.
Once upon a Sunday, very recently, we were discussing true Christianity and the sad fact that true Christianity and merely outward Christianity often, to the casual observer, look identical. How does one tell if the mint is true? One tests it. And the testing (as James points out) is very rarely pleasant. It looks like trials and temptations. It looks like forty years in a wilderness and sounds like God's silence. It burns like fire. But at the end, when the foundations are shaken and the chaff is threshed out, the true and the false will be clear. In my opinion, this is the greater point of trials and temptations in my writing. Unpleasantness and hard providences are equally reflective of actual human experience, and I do not put any of these things in the way of my characters because I get a sadistic thrill out of it. All things have their purpose - although the characters, like ourselves, cannot and may not ever know why their author has done these things to them.
writers spend all their time at Starbucks
How - how - how you can sit in a noisy coffee shop full of people babbling and yelling broken snatches of a foreign, coffee-related language, appended by the names of people who are not actually present, and write anything cohesive, is beyond me. I need calm, I need pattern. Inconveniently, I need them badly, which means any upset is liable to make it hard for me to write anything.
writers obsess over the mechanics of making up character names
Nope. My characters come quickly with names, and only rarely do I test-run one name only to give it up for another, better one. Something - my characters or my subconsciousness - usually knows what it is about when it assigns names. I almost never look names up: I wait until a name comes to me. And they do just come, like Little Bo Peep's lambs. Sometimes I don't like them, but they suit. Trivia: I actually hated the names "Margaret" and "Simon" prior to working with characters by those names, I was indifferent to "Philip," and I had a grudge against "Skander." True beans.
writers consider their characters to be their babies
As a writer who has made characters whom she loves, and as a human being who is making a baby which she loves, I can tell you this mental mix-up is not appreciated. There is no comparison between characters and babies.
writers spend all their time on Pinterest
(Okay, that one is true.)