Writer – Stereotypes





The Drunk / The Poet

Made more common by the romantic English poets of the 1800s, one stereotype of writers, especially book authors and poetry chapbook writers – even more so, middle aged male poets, is that of a drunkard.  Sometimes the hung over person holds down a day job always hoping to earn more money selling chapbooks of poetry but forced to bar tend to earn a living.  In other cases, the stench of whiskey building up in the drunkard tends to improve the quality of the poetry to the dismay of everyone Godly, and to the not-alcoholic adult children and ex-spouse of the drunkard poet.

The Gossip / The Journalist

Journalists are not really writers;  they are gossips.  They are able to present themselves well and are eager for a story, but only a true news story.   While they are one of the best known and best paid types of writers, journalists are notoriously “not artists”, and due to that are as much weirdos compared to novelists as scientific illustrators and police sketch artists are compared to painters whose works end up sold in galleries, illustrators who work in comics and cartoons and so on.

Whereas a book author may spend months doing research in some of the world’s libraries, the journalists are on the telephone and rushing around, full of noise and energy, all to meet tight and real deadlines.

Journalists are also most likely to be guilty of something the poet would describe as a mortal sin: they shamelessly write for pay.  Many of them openly state that they write only because they get paid.

The Novelist

In this case there is more than one stereotype:

Rich and Happy

These authors are best sellers.  They have stable marriages in many cases.  They live in castles or mansions.  They may be average looking or handsome/beautiful.  They draw big crowds doing public speaking engagements and are consistently treated like adored and respected celebrities.  Many of them are fairly quiet and reserved, especially compared to the journalists, but are capable of being polite and friendly enough to be used as interview subjects by journalists.

Poor and Miserable

These are the majority of authors, who write or have written entire books only to find out that it is way harder to earn a lot of money for doing something major like writing books, than they had thought.  Most of this type of author fluctuates between lamenting suffering from the burden of being an author, and being forced to endure being an artist instead of having been one of the journalists or corporate communications people or happy to work in advertising firms and abusing their creativity for respectable salaries.

Some of these authors have jobs, and some don’t even have jobs because they are really novelists or nonfiction book writers, and aren’t good for much else.


These are the authors who suffer from compulsive writing, but they have a successful novel series and a good fan base.  Thanks to that, their mental illness is indulged, left untreated and viewed as a viable means of earning a living.  Such authors are often either treated as a celebrity or ignored.  The people who believe they love them the most really are the fans of the fictional worlds and characters they have created, putting them into a rather bizarre real world situation.


Real Life as a Writer Today

Welcome back to another day of this blog – those of you who have been following along for a while now.  As you noticed yesterday’s was a lot about work.   Everyone has issues about working and being paid or not having to work and living without being paid or needing work and not getting any and how to survive and whether or not to take recourse to crime or to begging or to learning more about how relatives, friends and lovers can provide support and or public welfare services in the area where they live …Or being proud of having a good paying job and coping with what the constant rush rush and need to pretty much blindly obey some manager most of the time for years or months on end and what that really does to a person.  For most people, good leadership really does help and bad leadership is pretty much a sociological ‘demon’ or something that isn’t a demon but is obviously more like one than most.  So do I.   Naturally, I have all the culturally specific and even subculturally specific ‘women’s issues’ and how that relates my work and income issues.

When I was a young woman I went ahead and went to university having believed the people who told me that it would virtually guarantee me a middle class income.  I spent nearly 20 years blaming only the old male professors for thinking I was just there to find a husband to support me.  In fact, I had already found a partner before I had started university, making that really not why I went.  In truth I was conflicted about it.  All of my parents are very well educated, and I was especially proud to be the 5th rather than the 1st female generation in at least one line of my family to have the privilege of attending university.  A lot but not all of the older women who I knew had at least some work experience.  Many worked mainly before or after or before and after they had the children.  Some – including both my mother and stepmother also worked while the children were growing up.

You may well know: in some circles a mother having to work for pay is a very bad sign of a sorry state of affairs whereas amongst other groups of people it is viewed as a good sign.  For some it just indicates ‘too poor for the woman to be able to buy anything without working’ whereas to others it means ‘women’s empowerment; industrious women’ or simply ‘women willing and able to help their husbands and children as well as themselves.’   The work options for women and men have often not been identical.  As a young woman I was enraged by this.  It is not so much that I have changed as that I have learned other facts.  For example:  when reading about the town where the great Nikolai Tesla hails from I learned that the men where he came from had 2 options for work and women had 1 option.  That was really what it was like.  A lot of the issue has to do with being able to perceive and to accept the reality of the situation not only for oneself or one’s own gender but on the whole.  We also already know that many people try going to the city so that they can get more than only those opportunities available in their home town.

In truth, I would go on about this a lot more today, but the blog post is already so long that I will just stop.  When you buy my books or stories you are supporting a creative person who created the work with the intention of it selling and in that way meeting adult responsibilities.  She hopes that hundreds of thousands of people will buy without harming themselves by spending the money on her work and supporting her well even though she enjoyed writing the stories and nonfiction.  Yes, she wants to gt paid even though she liked it instead of not being paid because she liked doing the work.  You all know what I’m talking about; don’t pretend you don’t.