Saturday, February 3, 2018

Top 3 Myths of a Writer's Life (Jill)

Last month, I was at a sale, selling books. People would come up, ask questions, and read the back cover.  I'd encourage them to take a free book mark, and we'd talk. Many of the comments were positive and encouraging. But the event made me really look at this profession I've chosen. There seem to be some myths surrounding a writer's life, and I'd like to address my top three.

3) You're wealthy. Unless you're J.K. Rowling, or George R.R. Martin, this is a common misconception. One woman asked where I lived and when I indicated I was local, she responded, "Oh, local girl makes good? That's great." Being a writer is not a more "good" profession than any other. And while I'm thrilled to have my book published, I'm not rolling in the money. Most authors aren't--they hold down their regular day job and write during their free time.

2) It's easy. Thankfully, nobody at the sale said this, which is good because this comment really upsets me. But many years ago, I attended a non-writing conference. When the lady sitting next to me heard I was writing a book, she said, "I think I'll write a book. Yeah, I've always wanted to do that." Writing is not easy. While I believe every person has a story to tell, they should know what they're signing up for. Ernest Hemingway summed it up best when he said, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

1) It's glamorous. I don't go to movie screenings, or chat with famous people, or fly in private jets. Another customer at the above-mentioned sale was thrilled to talk to an author and was positively giddy when I offered her a book mark. These encounters always make me feel thankful, yet a little odd, like I'm pretending and pretty soon the Fraud Detectors will show up to escort me from the building. I'm still the same person I was a year ago. I still deal with laundry, vacuuming,  and dirty dishes. But if I ever get a butler, I'll know I've made it.

Do you have any myths you've encountered on this writing journey? We'd love to hear them! Please leave them in the comments below.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jill! I so agree with #2 - I get frustrated too when people casually mention, "I had a story idea once. I should write a book." If only it were that simple :) I also had a friend who thought I could help someone she knew who'd written a non-fiction book get published. Sorry, I'm definitely NOT that well connected!

  2. Yeah, many are looking for that "magic bullet" or the "right person." but there isn't one. It just takes hard work. ☺

  3. Great post, Jill! Admittedly, before I started down the path years ago, all three had crossed my mind. Lol! Even technical writing experience hadn’t prepared me for the challenge of fiction writing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Fantastic post, Jill. Those are all true.


Please note that your comment hasn't gone through unless you see the notice: "Your comment will be visible after approval." We apologize for any difficulties posting comments or delays in moderation.