10 Things Writers Don’t Want You To Know

10. We aren’t always productive. Some days, the words refuse to transfer from our brain to our fingers and we’re left wordless and empty. How does the rest of the world survive without the release of writing?

9. We’re driven by desperation. Characters hound us in our sleep and editors and readers send impatient emails until it seems we can’t write — and edit— fast enough. Most of all, we write to appease that restless curiosity inside us demanding to know what happens next.

8. Our imagination is most demanding when we don’t have time to write. If we start a new book, a dozen new story ideas scream to be written to life. But when we’re desperate for new ideas? They wave goodbye.

7. We write for ourselves so we can then write for you. Writing is a healing practice, in which we tear out our souls and turn them inside out, revealing our pain so others can find healing. The words we write aren’t easy, even when they appear to be.

6. Receiving praise about our books generally shocks us. We spend so much time closed within the pages of our world, and by the time we emerge, everything seems desperate and harsher and we begin to doubt our work has any merit. Don’t be shy. Encourage your favorite author.

5. We probably will add you to a book at some point. We may deny it, but writers are constantly stealing characteristics, responses, and life experiences from the people we meet. You may not hear a writer say, “Please do something weird and memorable,” but we think it.

4. Releasing a new book makes us proud, but it’s like watching your firstborn leave for their first day of kindergarten. Will the other kids play nice? Will they have any friends? What if they simply aren’t ready? (Cue terrified writer hiding under a blanket in the corner.)

3. The cliche of writers being hermits? Not (fully) accurate. If we act aloof, it is simply to mask our insecurities. And yes, we have to spend time alone in order to write, but we also have to explore and meet new people in order for our writing to stay fresh and original. Many of us are shy and socially awkward, but we have bold spirits.

2. Please don’t expect us to write a poem for your mom or a sonnet for your dog at a moment’s notice. Writing is harder for us than for other people. It’s not always easy to translate the beautiful words in our heads.

1. What you read in the published book rarely resembles our original draft. We’ve tweaked, changed, and replaced until the words seem to have taken on a life of their own. Sometimes we prefer the original draft where (deleted scene) still exists and (unneeded character) still lives. What can we say? Writers can be fickle.

Readers, what is something you’ve always wondered about writers? Share in the comments!

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