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10 writer stereotypes

  • Chain smoker
  • Alcoholic
  • Experiments with drugs/drug addict
  • Drink liters of coffee
  • Broke
  • Loner/Recluse
  • Depressed
  • Eccentric
  • Disheveled/unkempt
  • You own a typewriter

How much of the writer stereotype do you embody? I am unkempt when I wake up from bed but apart from that… I don’t meet any of the other criteria. (Yay! Half a point!). Linking back to Eliabeth’s post about The Image of a Writer, I think the common writer stereotype is interesting. I’m assuming its grounded in the tragic retellings of famous authors who met many of these criteria.

The stereotype that particularly annoys me is the broke one. Hopefully I don’t offend anyone, but it does annoy me that many of our portrayed writer characters are unsuccessful and broke and mooch off others. I know that writing doesn’t pay well but I suppose I don’t like this assumption that writers are doomed to be broke, unsuccessful and dependent. I suppose I particularly feel this because I value independence and gaining some of life’s major milestones like owning a house. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what exactly bugs me about it… it might be the association with recklessness or immaturity or inability to make ‘smart’ financial decisions… Or maybe I just don’t like the prediction that by writing I put myself at risk at becoming broke and depend on others! This also lends into the topic of writing part-time. It’s the path I’ve chosen, and I know many others do the same.

What do you think about pursuing an art like writing full-time? Is it reckless if you’re not signed with a publisher? Is there a specific writer stereotype I mentioned that you get irritated by? What other stereotypes can you think of?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

– Ermisenda