Authors Are (not) a Different Species


After diving into writing fiction, I realized something that should be obvious, but isn’t.  Writers aren’t any different than any other readers.  We’re usually just the readers who got bored waiting for our favorite author’s next book to come out, so we wrote our own and got stuck with the job.

For instance, you (as I did) probably think this photo is how most authors look.  Wild-haired, crooked glasses, surprised at the intrusion on our writing time, and clad in something fuzzy and comfortable.  The classic crazy writer, right?

Yeah, yeah, so maybe this is the classic writer image for a good reason… like that hair… 100% natural result of forgetting to brush it because my latest novella was calling.

Actually… you’re pretty close, to tell you the truth.  The crazy part, especially.  It’s 102 degrees outside and I’m wearing a sweater just for this photo.  That’s officially over the ‘insanity’ line.  Oh, and I don’t need glasses up close… they’re just for effect.  As far as you know.

So maybe that was a bad example.  But the point still stands; we writers are still readers.  As Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write”.  Take a look in on any author you might happen to know and you’ll find them either busily writing a book, or curled up reading one.

You know why I love my Kindle?  Because people get upset when you try to take 500 paperbacks on a road-trip.  My favorite solution to writer’s block?  Plunking myself down on my bed (after clearing it of stacked books) and reading a bit of Chesterton or Wodehouse.  Their snappy humor clears my foggy writer’s brain fast.

Guess why so many author appearances are in bookstores?  It’s not ’cause that’s where their books are.  It’s ’cause that’s where the OTHER book are!  Once all the signing and talking is done, that author is going to disappear into those rows of shelves and do his level best never to come out again.

So, next time you see a favorite author… recommend a book for them to read.  Ask what they’re reading right now.  Heck, offer to buy them a book!  Writers are readers, too!

10 thoughts on “Authors Are (not) a Different Species

  1. LOL No-one wants to see a photo of me looking dishevelled!! That’d be too way too scary!!

    Although, I do agree with the statement that writers are readers that got bored of waiting for the next book and just went ahead and wrote it themselves. It’s one of the reasons I chose to write the stories I’ve done so far!! That and as time passes a few of my favourite authors have sadly passed and I really miss the stories they might have told!

    • Hahaha. I guess we’ll have to take your word for it!

      I think it’s a pretty common reason. At least, it was the only one I could come up with. We’re certainly not in it for the money and prestige. XD

      • Nope. That’s very true. I will have spent out more than is possible to make back, unless my book goes viral, which, while that would be nice, I certainly don’t expect it to happen! I just wanted to write this story before the novel comes out and get a taste for professional editing and learn all the ins and outs and pitfalls, which I hope to avoid in the future!! 🙂

        • Yup. That’s the way it works, I’m afraid. Of course, each new publication DOES increase our chances of making a profit, but regardless, novelizing is a long game to play. 🙂

          • Yup!! That’s true. I’ve tried to go the traditional route and didn’t even manage to snag an agent! To be honest, I wasn’t ready then and needed to learn more about writing! However, now there is the opportunity to self-publish, I thought, hey, why not give that a go?! And here I am!

          • My plan is to try to use self-publishing to help my chances of getting traditionally published. Who knows; it might even work! XD

          • Yeah, I kind of hope for the same thing myself, but I’ll be happy with folks buying my books and liking what they read, maybe even coming back for the next one? 🙂

  2. Lol, I like the bit about never coming out again. That speaks for a lot of us doesn’t it?

    • I think so… I’m pretty sure if you gave a reader enough K-rations and water, they’d disappear into the outback of the nearest Half-Price Books.

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