The nine main stereotypes of writers – with cats

Ha ha ha. Yup. This is pretty accurate.

Milly Schmidt

There are so many writing stereotypes out there. For example, when most people picture a writer they imagine a poor-coffee-loving-intelligent-but-crazy-bohemian-hermit who spends their days dreaming up fantastical worlds and despicable murders. It may shock some people to learn that some writers love the sun, prefer to be outdoors, and actually, NO, they don’t know a single thing about how a computer works, but if you need help with anything Microsoft word related – well you’re in luck! (Another stereotype?? Whoops).

Here are what I think are the nine main stereotypes of writers:

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Author Confessions Round 19

 Exposure. Plain and simple.

Throwing myself out there is difficult. I’m an introvert who is uncomfortable in social situations. I don’t always show it, but when I get home after being around people, I need several hours to myself to destress and unwind. As an author, you have to interact with people and make connections. This has always been a challenge for me.

Releasing my books to the general population is nerve wracking and scary. I’ve always been an overachiever and am super critical of myself. I’ll never be satisfied with my work. I ALWAYS find something wrong with it no matter how many times I read over it. My characters speak to me, and I tell their stories. But these stories won’t please every reader. In fact, I can almost guarantee there are haters out there. Some people just don’t get the way my brain works. Others will totally relate to my work and enjoy the stories I write.

I don’t write to please the masses. To me that’s not what writing is all about. I write for myself, to tell my character’s story. Hopefully, I’ll gain a few readers along the way, readers who understand the way I think and relate to these characters in my head.

35 Things You Don’t See When You Buy A Book

A LOT goes into writing a book. Much more than the reader ever sees.

BlondeWriteMore

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The idea for this post came to me after I did some research on the ‘overnight literary success myth.’  I have always been intrigued by the term and the notion that success JUST happens to authors. Surely there is more to overnight literary fame than meets the eye?  Once you type this myth into Google you can expect to see an array of interesting articles and blog posts on the subject.

This research into the myth of authors being hailed as ‘overnight literary successes’ led me onto the iceberg” cliché, which I found in a fab article. It was an article from the Huffington Post:

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13 Things Mentally Strong Writers Don’t Do

Great insights here. Definitely worth reading.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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As y’all know I do a ton of reading and this includes lots and lots of blogs and articles. Over the holiday I ran across one article that just had me jumping up and down and yelling, “YES! THIS!” The Business Insider article “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” is based off Amy Morin’s book (which I highly recommend).

It doesn’t matter if we strive to have a healthy marriage, strong kids or a killer career, these tenets cross-apply to all areas of life. Mental toughness is a key component to being successful. Yes, even for writers.

So I figured I would tinker with this and make it more directly apply to writers and what we must do (or not do) if we long to do well in this career. Thus, today we are going to discuss 13 Things Mentally Strong Writers Don’t Do.

#1 They don’t waste time…

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Why Do You Write? (The Madness Behind Being a Writer)

A writer & her adolescent muse

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Why do writers write?

The answer seems obvious, and the reasons are similar among most writers.

It’s because we must.

It’s who we are.

We have no choice but to write…

or go stark, raving mad.

There has to be more to it than that.

In my mind, at least.

We must dig deeper.

There is a reason other than the ones we give to people (even to ourselves).

What is it?

Be honest.

Why write at all?  What’s the true driving force behind this passion? This innate desire to put words down? To create?

There has to be more than just “I need to write.”

Is it because we are already mad?

Insane?

Mentally ill?

Perhaps we need to be crazy enough to dig deep into our mind, the deepest, darkest parts of our psyche in order to pull out our masterpieces.

To share openly with…

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A Story Has To Be Told

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What does it mean to tell a story?

8d0768a7eb6b307c17ac99cf1e51fda2Stories from various cultures have been passed down from generation to generation, some through oral tradition, some recorded in writing. The idea of story is what being a fiction writer is all about.

How many of us have sat around a campfire telling scary ghost stories, or been to family gatherings where Uncle Bob tells stories from his childhood or his military days?  Humans live for stories.  We read them, tell them, watch them on TV or the big screen, and create our own.  It’s what we do. As writers, we see stories all around us.  Our creative minds develop stories and create characters to act them out.  Story is the essence of writing.

Writing has always  been a part of my life. As a child, I loved creating stories and making images_image001up characters. I wrote short stories, drew illustrations for them, and shared them with my friends. I kept a journal full of song lyrics I liked and wrote daily diary entries to reflect on my thoughts and feelings from the day.  When my family would go on vacation or day trips, I brought a journal with me and kept track of the activities we did and the cool things I saw. It was rare to see me without a pencil in my hand.

In Jr. High, my love for writing branched out beyond short stories and personal reflection. I was introduced to the research paper and began a love affair with poetry. I received several awards for research papers I wrote and explored the various elements of poetry writing.

6b3f787c675a9d0f9fed539245a6cd68My freshman year of high school, I had several poems published in my high school’s literary magazine. I even earned a college scholarship for a poem I wrote that was later published in a national poetry collection.  During this time, I also began playing around with writing fiction. I started off just creating stories in a notebook, most of which I don’t even have anymore. By the time I graduated, I had several notebooks full of stories I had created. The Scrubs series began in one of these notebooks.

I started the series in college, as a hobby more than anything. Back then I wrote only for myself, so the entire story was kept hidden from anyone else’s eyes. Over the years I added to it, changed it, and deleted unnecessary scenes and characters. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I mustered up the nerve to let a dear friend of mine read the entire series.  She, and several others, finally convinced me to publish it.

The Scrubs series has grown with me. I wrote the four books during different stages of my life. Scrubs was written mainly during my college years. I wrote Sand & Sutures after I was married and while I was raising two young children.  Beyond the Hardwood  and Center Stage (both currently in revision) were written together, during a time in my life when my kids were teenagers and making their transition into the adult world. The different stages in my life are reflected in the different books. As I grew, my writing and the characters grew with me.

To this day, I still create stories in my head. These stories have to be told. I write them down, sometimes at 43763c356be7ce026300a41e61d94196inopportune moments, and refine them into full-blown novels. Some ideas are more vivid to me than others, but when I sit in front of keyboard to write, the characters come alive and the story develops on its own.

I wish I would have kept some of the stories I wrote when I was younger. Those journals were full of ideas, and I probably could have used some of them to generate more novels.

Happy writing!

 

Lost Inside My Head

brain slugWhy do I get my best writing ideas at the most inopportune moments?  Someone should invent a device that transcribes writer’s ideas into meaningful notes so we don’t lose the great ideas we come up with.  I guess this is why I carry a notebook and pen around with me everywhere I go. But it’s not the ideas I get when I’m ready for them that I’m talking about.  It’s the ones I get when I’m driving or in the shower that I can’t write down–those are the ideas that seem to get lost inside my head somehow.  It’s not until weeks later when the lightbulb comes on, the idea comes back to me, and I find myself saying, “Oh yeah.  That’s what I was going to do with that scene.”