Most groups include some form of stereotype, and writers are no different. You think writer; an image pops up, so I decided to go over some of the most common stereotypes.
Writers love coffee. This stereotype arises from the need to have a sharp mind. Oddly enough, most writers I know don’t drink coffee at all. I always make coffee for the meetings we have, but I’m the only one that takes a cup. Everyone else brings soda, tea, juice, or plain water.
Writers own cats. I know of at least two other writers in my group who own only dogs. I own a cat, but never went looking to own one. He showed up on my porch one day. There are benefits to having a cat, who make few demands on their owners, and often sit in the room quietly while you write. (Except mine, of course).
Writers are depressed or emotional. Visions of Edgar Allen Poe or other authors tend to lend to this stereotype. I find this untrue for the most part. Although you do find emotional laden individuals, generally writers are enthusiastic about many things. You need passion to write, and in touch with your emotion in order to write emotionally, and to provoke that in your readers.
Writers spend much of their day alone. Here is another falsehood. Many writers I know complain about not having enough time to write. Of course, most have other jobs, or the demands of Life persist with imposing on their writing time. Writers that do spend much of their time alone, often need to get out into society in order to refresh and re-energize before returning to crafting their manuscript.
Writer’s complain about writer’s block. You only have to endure writer’s block once to understand the frustration and inner turmoil such a state brings. Most writers know exactly what the term means, and often commiserate as a means for healing and understanding. This stereotype is perhaps the only one on this list that strikes true.
Writers write with stereotypes all the time. Many stories certainly have them; the villian with dark hair and ominous laugh, the hero that does everything right, the beautiful woman who turns out to be the love interest. Such stereotypes make for easy reading. Unfortunately, not entertaining reading. This will be a whole blog entry later this month.
I find that many groups have stereotypes for a reason, but I can assure you with this group that not all writers are the same because not all writers write the same.