7 Things Writers Won’t Tell You

Ok, so writers aren’t this big homogenous group who all think and act the same way, but I’m fairly certain there will be something in this list that you (or the writer in your life) will recognise. Just remember, it’s all in fun!

1) We don’t always want to write

This may sound shocking – I mean it’s the one thing that we love more than anything in the world (oh aside from families and friends of course), why wouldn’t we want to do it all the time? Well, it’s like anything you love – sometimes you can really, really not like it. It makes us stressed, we hate everything about it, we’re tired, our brains are full etc etc. Yeah, there’s a lot going on and as much as writing can be the way we escape everything else, sometimes we’ll do anything to escape writing. It’s complicated.

2) We have used you in our stories

Ooo this is controversial. And I’ll temper it by saying, it’s most likely just a bit of you rather than anything wholesale and we use ourselves way, way more. Less sensible writers (or ones that don’t really care), will have no issue with chucking friends and relatives and anyone else into their work as barely veiled characters. But most of us will just take a little bit from here and a little bit from there – a morsel of personality, an affectation, or curiosity of style. We’ll nick shiny things like a literary Magpie. If you’re friends with a writer, it’s inevitable.

3) We have experienced some of the things we write about

Writers use their imagination, especially in certain genres. But there will be some things we’ve done ourselves – potentially uncomfortable things, so we won’t always admit it. And if you ask, we’ll lie.

4) We’re writing even when we’re not writing

Thinking is writing. Doddling is writing. Re-arranging post-it notes is writing. And browsing the internet is absolutely writing (no it is, honest, I have to look at cute dogs because…I have a dog in my story). Writing is actually made up of very little sitting and writing actual words (comparatively speaking). And that’s the hardest part.

5) We think we’re the worst and best writer ever

A lot of the time we think we suck at writing. We’ll still do it, of course, we’re compelled to but we’ll often think we’re just an orange with thumbs, rather than anything resembling a decent writer. But on the other side, we’ll hit on something – a story idea, a line, a juicy plot twist – and think we’re a genius. Allow us a little ego hmm? It’s tough to pull words from your head and fashion them into something meaningful.

6) We dislike a lot of what we do (and you’ll never see it)

We have tons of crappy writing hidden away in notebooks, folders, and old disks that we’ll never, ever share with anyone. Ever. It may feed into some other things we write at some point but its original unadulterated form will be locked away somewhere dark. So do us a favour if, when we’re gone, you find said writing, just dispose of it without taking a peek hm?

7) We’ll never tell you we need time to write (but we’d like some)

The biggest present you can give someone who loves who write is time to do it (or possibly a rock-solid contact in the publishing industry). We’ll never say “oi bog off and let me write” but we may think it. Most writers don’t have the luxury to be able to write full-time. It goes in around work and kids and all sorts of other commitments. It’s late nights, early mornings, and snatches at lunchtime or naptime, or toilet-break time! If you have the capacity and ability, give them a bit of time to focus and they’ll love you forever.

So what do you think? Anything else writers will never tell? Please share in the comments.

Related reads

5 Signs You’re A Writer

6 Things Writers Should NOT do

This Writing Life – Expectation vs Reality

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