Recycling Absurd Assumptions

During the process of migrating from Blogger to WordPress I lost a few early posts. For some unknown reason they didn’t transfer and since nobody ever read them it seemed a shame they got abandoned down in Google’s basement. I’ve resurrected them here just for you. Sweet!

Fresh from the compost heap:

“Ooohh, you’re a writer.” *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* “Must be nice to do nothing but stay at home and make the big bucks.”

On occasion I find myself flabbergasted by the things people say. I’ve heard this gem more than once. Pasting a puzzled expression on my face just for emphasis, I always have to ask who they’re talking about.

Every writer I know, works their behind off and then has to get up and go to their day job. It’s a lot like having a second career and that’s after you invest all the extra time studying craft, doing research, and brainstorming ideas.

For me, writing is about discovery, exploration, adventure, and living vicariously through the characters I create and occasionally destroy. It’s about finding just the right word to create an image, evoke a feeling, connect to a memory, or make someone curious enough to go find out more.

I spent a lot of time reading when I was a kid. I still do. Some of my favorite people in the entire world, live only between the covers of a book. There are days when I’d rather spend a few hours having the same conversation over and over with them, than sit in a room with other breathing primates.

Especially the ones who think writing is so darn easy.

Why is it THOSE people never write books? Have a horror story to share? Lay it out there…we want to hear every grimy detail.

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  1. #1 by Traci Kenworth on March 17, 2012 - 4:35 am

    So true. Most people think writers are lazy bums instead of the hardworking person who sits down and hammers out a manuscript over and over for a year, maybe more or less, to get it just right.

    • #2 by Leslie on March 17, 2012 - 11:52 am

      I like those posters people share on Facebook with the six panels of pictures showing what each person “thinks”. They always make me laugh since they show the various perceptions (usually flawed) people have about other subjects and jobs. I worry that the editing stage might NEVER end…hell is the visual of me pounding away at this manuscript forever.

  2. #3 by Angeline on March 17, 2012 - 7:28 am

    So true. While there may be a lot of coffee drinking and biscuit eating in my creative process, it’s still hard work.

    And you’re right, why don’t those who think it’s so easy actually do it?

    • #4 by Leslie on March 17, 2012 - 11:56 am

      What would writers do without caffeine and sugar? I know the “older” generation liked their booze and smokes (and really, who doesn’t?!), but since we’re the enlightened young’uns, I guess we should feel indulgent with some coffee and biscuits. There has to be some upside to all that brain bashing writing requires.

      Now I worry about how many times I’ve unthinkingly said something similar in regard to other professions. “Yeah, those brain surgeons, always taking the afternoon off. Those road workers stand around all day long.” *guilty*

  3. #5 by Angela Wallace on March 17, 2012 - 8:29 am

    I’ve never been accused of being lazy as a writer. My experience with non-writers has mostly been polite smiles and “oh, how sweet,” and “don’t be putting me in your book now.” *rolls eyes* Contrary to how television portrays us, we do not carbon copy real people into our books and make the names rhyme.

    • #6 by Leslie on March 17, 2012 - 12:00 pm


      Lazy doesn’t equate, does it? I know those polite smiles and the vaguely oh-ho-ho snickers. I toss people into books all the time (I’m not as nice as you are), especially people who piss me off. That guy who cut me off in traffic? Wham! Axe murderer got him in chapter 2. That colleague with the obnoxious laugh who doused her cleavage in enough perfume to gag an elephant and then just had to sit next to me in the meeting? Pow! Suffocated under a ton of tuna in a freak fishing accident.

      Oh yeah. *issues*

      • #7 by Angela Wallace on March 17, 2012 - 12:10 pm

        LOL. Using people for cannon fodder–nice. 😉

        • #8 by Leslie on March 21, 2012 - 6:15 pm

          I consider it a sort of literary therapy. Crossover is good!

  4. #9 by Marion Spicher on March 19, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    If it seems the conversation is based on genuine interest, I try to give folks who don’t understand some insight into the writer’s life, followed by an education of Romance Writing and how it has changed over the last 50 years to include many genres and excellent writing craft.

    • #10 by Leslie on March 20, 2012 - 9:09 am

      That’s a good point, Marion. Until I started getting serious about writing, I had no idea how much effort it takes to make a good story read effortlessly. I realize people are uninformed, but there are always that handful that prefers to believe the nonsense about anything and everything – rather than reality. I like to poke those people with a stick.

  5. #11 by Bridgette Booth on March 20, 2012 - 10:11 am

    I’m like Angela in that I haven’t received these types of comments, but I do get a lot of amazed “oh I could never . . .” and I say, yes, you could if you WANTED to, but you don’t want to. Just like I don’t want to be an engineer. Now, re-reading my answer I feel like I’m quibbling over silly wording. I understand their intent, but just want them to see it’s not magic. (Okay, it *is* magic with some writers, but normal folks like me, not so much.) I agree with you about your favorite people being in a book. Me too!

    • #12 by Leslie on March 21, 2012 - 6:18 pm

      I’ve just been struck by the fact that almost nobody outside of a few close friends and my immediate family even know I write. Weird that. You’re right, there isn’t much of anything we couldn’t do (or they/them/the others), if we wanted. It isn’t quibbling over semantics, too many folks decide they can’t do something without even really considering the idea that they could.

      No effort = No failure

      I aim to fail spectacularly!

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