Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are YOU A Stereotypical Writer?

You gotta admit, writers are pretty stereotypically portrayed in film and television.  It would seem, according to the usual portrayal- we all should:

Smoke




Have questionable hygiene while tap tapping away.










Have a window nearby.


Only disconnect from our laptops if the sky is literally falling on our heads.












Not only visit Paris, but wander the streets aimlessly for a while when we do so.  That’s what all good writers do, after all.












Be tortured souls.











Okay. I admit to have written late into they day while in my day-old yoga pants and unwashed hair.  I don't smoke.  Or have a window nearby.  I HAVE wandered Paris aimlessly.  But that was before I was a writer, so I don't know if it counts.  There are times where the world coming to the end would be the only thing to pull me out of my writing.  And I can be tortured I suppose:)  What about you?  How do YOU hold up against the stereotypical writer?

44 comments:

Trisha Leaver said...

Good hygiene . . . check. Non-smoker . . . check. Wander the streets of Paris aimlessly . . . damn I wish I had the time to do that. But, my laptop does seemed to be permanently attached to me :)

DL Hammons said...

Dang! I'm zero outta six. I guess that makes me unconventional. :)

Suz Korb said...

Ha! Brilliant. I'm only guilty of the bad hygiene thing. I don't smoke, but I hate walks and the only window in my room is very far away.

Laura Pauling said...

I think it's with the obsession that we can relate! Awesome photos!

Connie Keller said...

I don't think I fit any of the cliches, except maybe the sky falling thing. My kids call it the "writing bubble." They love it--they can get permission to do anything when I'm in the bubble.

KarenG said...

I eat cookies and drink diet Coke. But I do love to walk just don't do it like I should. When I was in college I tried to be all stereotypical writer with the cigarettes and the coffee and the moodiness. What a joke. I laugh now when I think of myself back then.

Jessica Bell said...

Hahaha! :) Yeah, I don't wander aimlessly. I sit huddled up in trackies guzzling wine ... oh wait ... that's pretty stereotypical, innit? lol

Lisa Shafer said...

I prefer to wander the streets of Edinburgh.

Gina said...

Hm, I guess I don't hold up very well at all. I'll write at work, which means I'm showered and semi-presentable while doing so. But I do have a window in my office both at work and at home, so I get a point for that one.

Even when I'm writing at home, I may be in sweats, but I'm showered. I don't smoke either, and I've never been to Paris... but I do love to wander aimlessly on the beach. Does that count?

Vicki Rocho said...

According to that criteria, I'm a total FRAUD. LOL. Don't smoke, attend to my hygiene, no windows, never been to Paris (i don't wander the streets of my own town aimlessly either). Sigh. Total Fraud.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I'm guilty of the first three things on your list, but I wouldn't say I'm stereotypical. I smoked well before I wrote. The hygiene thing doesn't always have to do with writing - sometimes I'm just lazy and don't have anywhere I need to go. And I'm in front of a window so I can make sure the neighborhood kids aren't harassing my cat.

Nicole L Rivera said...

No smoking...I shower regularly (especially since that's where I get most of my ideas and work out most of my story problems, so I suppose that means I shower more when I'm writing). However, I do slack on the household chores so don't inspect my floors...depending on where on my couch I decide to sit there could be a window nearby. Then again I live in a tiny one room apartment so that also means the kitchen, dinning room, and bathroom are not far off either...At times the sky might have to fall on my head to disconnect me from my laptop, then again I might just dodge the debris until I reach a good stopping point...I've wandered Paris before, but I too was not yet a serious writer (as in, I didn't realize writing was what I should be doing with the rest of my life. I was finishing my accounting degree)...Tortured soul?! I guess at times I want to throw myself on the floor and have a tantrum because I feel as if I'm never going to make it in this industry, but then I get up and dust the dirt (because I haven't cleaned due to writing) off and continue...And I give up on the blog world when I'm really knee deep in it, but I'm kind of back now...at least as far as reading other blogs, not necessarily writing my own.

Great post :)

Nancy Thompson said...

Well...I don't smoke (yuck) and I haven't been to Paris...yet (sigh), but other than that...yeah, pretty stereotypical.

Slamdunk said...

Thankfully no. I think the family would evict me if I did not shower daily--BO is a powerful weapon.

M.J. Fifield said...

Well, I don't smoke and I've never been to Paris (though I admit I probably would wander the streets aimlessly if I went) but I am guilty of the rest.

Though I would like to note that I'm only in my day old yoga pants with my unwashed hair (for real) because I was up all night trying to close out this year's NaNoWriMo. Otherwise, I almost always have clean hair...

Fun post!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

When I was in college, I was all into the chain-smoking, coffee-swilling, angst-filled image. Not anymore. And not for many years. But I do have extreme tunnel vision when I'm writing. The house could crumble around me, and that'd be fine ... as long as I don't lose my computer or chain of thought.

Old Kitty said...

Er... I like my alcohol, eat copious amounts of chocolate and if I could, I'd be surrounded by lots and lots of cats. LOL!

Take care
x

Monica Mansfield said...

Yes and Yes.

In College I would write and smoke in front of a window, all while drinking coffee and thinking I should probably shower.

I don't smoke anymore, but I do like a cup of coffee or tea while writing. I also love wearing a big comfy cardigan or sweater. There are days when I forget about showering.

mshatch said...

I used to smoke, there is a window nearby but not in my direct line of sight (just as well), and I've never been out of the US except a brief trip to Toronto. I do, however, often write in my jammies on my days off until noon and I never forget to shower. I simply choose not to waste time taking one.

Laura Marcella said...

You forgot about writer's block (though I guess that could be included with tortured souls, haha)! Every writer (actually, all artists) in the movies suffers from writer's block.

I don't stack up at all. I have a window and that's it. How lame of a writer am I?

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Ha! Love this post--I think we all start with some kind of writerly image in our minds...I love the writer (Emma Thompson) on "Stranger than Fiction," how she's always trying to figure out realistic ways for her MC to die and gets totally wrapped up in it. I'm kinda like that, though sans the drinking and chain smoking.

I've found that in this day and age, trying to be a reclusive, lonely writer is a hard image to maintain, since social connections are paramount and we have to rely heavily on agents now. Sad but true. Otherwise, I'd go back to my youthful dreams of owning a shack on the beach with nothing but dogs to keep me company. Instead, I have a husband and kids and so the reality is that writing can't be my entire life!

Meredith said...

Haha, the questionable hygiene sometimes happens, I have to admit. And I wouldn't object to wandering the streets of Paris aimlessly. :)

Johanna Garth said...

Not for the stereotypes you mentioned. The typical traits I've begun to notice is that there are LOTS of writers who are also moms with young kids-check. And also lots of ex-lawyer writers-check.

J Larkin said...

I am a non-smoker who wandered Paris (and got badly dehydrated, which was torturous to my soul, ha!). I love having a window next to me, but it is often shuttered because being glued to the blinking line on my word processor sometimes causes me to forget about things like day clothes and showers.

Like many others who have commented, I guess I'm not quite Hollywood material :)

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I find that the hard workouts in the morning help take care of the personal hygiene bit because the warm water makes the muscles hurt just a little less. But I don't have a specific place to write, wiping out the windows. Smoking - no.

Crap (or yeah) I'm not stereotypical.

JeffO said...

You forgot to include --- drink! That's what all writers do, right?

I've got a window nearby, but I only smoke second-hand. I'm not tortured, never been to Paris, and I don't drink very much.

Crap, I guess I'm not a writer!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Only the nearby window fits. Damn, don't any of the stereotypes show a writer who jams to loud rock music? Or is that just me...?

Kate said...

okay, well I do have a window with a view to stare out at when the muse failes me. And I've certainly wandered the streets of Paris more than once, and not just because I was a teency bit lost, but I could also confess to having wandered the streets of an awful lot of Eurpoean cities ;-) Nowt wrong with a bit of aimlessness!

Wendy L. Callahan said...

No smoking, hygiene issues or torment here...

But I'm an American who wanders aimlessly around England (because, hey, I live here so I can), and my desk is by a window.

The only thing that pries me away from my laptop: husband, husband, oh, and husband. ;)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I definitely fit one stereotype:

There could be a whole lot of commotion going on around me -- including the sky falling -- before I look up from my laptop!

Helena said...

You forgot about drinking. Writers are supposed to be hopeless lushes who need to drown their sorrows/ literary failure. Me -- not much of a drinker and hate smoking. The rest applies.

prerna pickett said...

the only one I've done is the greasy hair and disheveled look. What does that say about me?

Lorelei said...

Tortured--of course! It was 30 years before a publisher took something of mine--that's torture, isn't it?

My desk is a mess, but I know where everything is... sort of (^;

I not only have one window but 3.

I've wandered the park we managed--on nice days only.

I get up in the middle of the night to work, only if I don't have to work (day job) the next day, and sat in my sweats/writing clothes, but alwyas clean (^;

Don't smoke, but I have a glass of wine in the evening.

Kelly Dexter said...

I didn't think too much about it until a few days ago when someone told me I look like a writer. Still not sure exactly what she meant by that . . .

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

I'm kind of just a soccer mom. Totally unglamorous and slightly stupid. I don't think anyone would mistake me for a writer. *sigh*

LTM said...

*snort* hmm... (glances around guiltily)... I guess I do have a window right next to me. I could stand a hair washing, I become inappropriately irritated when interrupted while writing, and I long to wander aimlessly around Paris.

but I don't smoke! Who would do that? *cough* I did in college... omg. I'm a writer!!! LOL! :D

Shirley Wells said...

Ha, great post! I have my window, I dream of wandering around Paris, and the sky pretty much has to fall in before I disconnect the laptop. I don't smoke these days though. :0

Susan R. Mills said...

This is too funny! I often don't shower until evening. And I sometimes I even stay in my pajamas all day!

kimmullican.com said...

When I wrote my last book - it was dark. So I spent a lot of time in the corner writing late at night.

This time...I have a window, and smokes...and alcohol...yeah, I think I follow the stereotype sans wondering around aimlessly.

Tonja said...

I do have two windows near my desk. And the last time the tornado alarm went off, I took my laptop with me. If I could go to Paris, I would wander and then write about it.

C D Meetens said...

I don't smoke, and I don't have a window anywhere near any area I write (which might be a desk, a sofa, or a bed - yes, I'm lazy). I also haven't wandered the streets of Paris aimlessly, or indeed wandered them at all. Guess I don't fit the stereotype :).

Karen Peterson said...

I don't smoke. I do sometimes have questionable hygiene on days I don't absolutely have to leave the house. I sit right in front of my big window. If the sky is falling (or I'm hungry) I will happily walk away from the laptop. The only time I wandered around Paris was when I was lost in the middle of the night and couldn't find the way back to my hotel. Tortured? Oh goodness, am I!

Susanne Drazic said...

I've been known to do my writing before getting dressed, or washing my hair or brushing my teeth. I don't smoke or drink. I do write by a window, depending on what room I'm writing in. I've been known to eat while I write and a cup of chai tea, hot chocolate or iced coffee is a nice treat while writing. I've never been to Paris and don't see myself ever getting there. I don't write outside, so no fear of the sky falling on me. Guess that makes me about half and half as far as stereotypical?

Botanist said...

Hmmm...only partly stereotypical. Holding down a full time day job means I can't join the slob club, but an uplifting view and opportunities for wandering are essential to my writing process. Physical and spiritual elbow room.

No smoking, but what happened to the drink close at hand?

And I thought torture came with the territory :)

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