Writers// Expectations vs Reality

We all have those marvelous expectations of what it’s like to do or be certain things.

Let’s face it though—things don’t always end up the way we had expected. So today I am going to give a glimpse of what people view writers as versus what we actually are like.

Myth #1: Writers Enjoy The Beauty Of The Creative Process.

Uh. No. Just no.

What most people see the “creative process” as being is way too over dramatized. You see, most people see us writers sitting at a nice desk someplace, typing away with a smile on our face and a spring in our step.

What it really looks like is: a coffee addict with a wild gleam in their eye, pounding away at their computer keys, routinely taking time to beat their head against their desk, procrastinating every chance they get, and in general wondering why they chose writing as a hobby to begin with.

Myth #2: First Drafts Are Final Drafts

Not many people actually understand what goes into a book. They think that once you finish your first draft it means you are basically done with your book. Now I know there are some amazing writers out there who don’t have to do major revisions and second drafts, but as a rule, that is not the case.

We spend hours pouring into our first drafts, and by the time we are done with them and re-read what we have written, we are ready to burn it. That is not even a joke! As a rule, first drafts are pretty terrible. So we sit back down again and begin the dreaded revisions, pouring even more time into the next draft.

Sometimes that process goes on for draft, after draft, after draft… and well you get the picture.

What most people think of as a writer’s first draft is: a masterpiece.

What it really looks like is: a two year old’s crayon scribbling.

Myth #3: Writers See The World Through Rose Colored Glasses

You know you’ve thought it. Writers are supposed to be hopeless romantics, right? I mean they see everything as being rainbows and lollipops, don’t they?

The truth is, we are actually pretty cynical. However we prefer to call ourselves realists. We do dream a lot, but we are also really skeptical. Plus, every writer has a bit of an evil side. How else are we supposed to write the villains of our stories?

Ope, I shouldn’t have let that one slip out—my family will never let me hear the end of it. After all, writers are such angels, right?

Myth #4: Writers Are Organized

Have you ever seen those pictures that paint writers to be sitting at their perfectly spotless desk, totally cool, calm, and collected? Don’t let that fool you.

I have to say up front, that there are some writers who truly are very organized and collected.

That having been said, there seem to be more of us who are slightly… shall we say… scatter brained. Now you do have to give us a little slack here, because most of the time we are juggling multiple story worlds, keeping track of details about dozens of characters, and attempting to keep plot lines straight. That, in and of itself, is a miracle at times!

Yeah… a lot of us are not the organized creatures people make us out to be. If we were, life would be incredibly boring!

Myth #5: Writers Wait For Inspiration

This is one of those ones that make me laugh.

If writers waited until “inspiration” hit them, we would never write anything. Ever.

I saw something once that said, “Writers waiting for inspiration to write is like going to the airport and waiting for a train.” That is about the sad gist of it too. The amount of time we spend writing when we actually feel inspired by something, pales in comparison to the amount we spend making ourselves write even when we don’t feel like it.

Again, it goes back to the whole routinely taking time to beat our heads against our desks, procrastinating every chance we get, and in general wondering why we chose writing as a hobby to begin with.

Hopefully you found at least a little enjoyment and amusement in this post! I have to put a disclaimer that these examples are not a cut and dried look at writers. So don’t go away thinking we are all a certain way, because that is not completely the case.

Thank you for reading today! If you enjoyed today’s post, you can subscribe to my blog here, and get an email notification every time a new post goes live!

A. M. Watson

Hebrews 13:8

16 thoughts on “Writers// Expectations vs Reality

  1. This is so true! I’m no a coffee addict, but I do get a maniacal glint in my eye when I write…or so my sister tells me.

    Non-writers’ expectations of writers is that we’re happily gallivanting through fields of flowers with a massive grin on our faces when we’re not writing and, when we are writing, possessing perfect posture, that same grin, and being stylish while doing so. Ha.

    Hilarious post, Alyssa!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PFFFFFFFT, the first one made me burst out laughing!! Totally severely injuring your characters is part of the creative process! Mhm!!

    Nahhh, not a coffee addict (I know, you can gasp). Wild gleam in my eye? *goes to check myself in the bathroom mirror*
    Maybe it comes out more when I’m evilly planning the demise of my characters…
    Pounding against my computer keys? Not…really? XD
    Beating my head against my desk?
    If leaning over in the dark to unplug your phone charger before smacking the right side of your forehead against your metal chair counts, then yes.
    (Also, just a lesson I totally haven’t learned: don’t bang your forehead once against your laptop. Don’t ask how I know about that either. Just take my word for it.)
    Procrastinating? Eh…I schedule now; so that’s lessened by God’s grace (and the fact that the schedule keeps not being followed because life gets in the way, but I schedule anyway). XD And wondering why I chose writing as a hobby??? I mean, I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. XD So now I’m just developing it and then running and screaming in the process.
    (Okay, there, that’s my ideal version of writing.)

    Anyhoo, this post was fun to read! I didn’t know people have misconceptions…but I guess people have misconceptions about everything in this world. 🙂


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