Saturday, 10 September 2011
Now I present the first in a new series called 'Stereotype Shoot-Out', in which I shall dispel common preconceptions and pre-conceived notions associated with writers and writing.
Writer Stereotype #1
Your formative years must've been traumatic
Err, no. No more rocky than yours. There were no wicked step-parents or malicious authority figures a la Roald Dahl. Fiction is not therapy although writing it can feel therapeutic. (But for the love of God pity your readers if you wish to go down this route! Or have the courtesy to provide sickbags...)
Oh sorry, you were not referring to trauma per se. You meant the euphemistic byword for 'trauma' which is 'experience'. Yes, it is also commonly believed that a writer has experienced an unnatural amount of pain together with obtaining a diploma from the School of Very Hard Knocks. However, literary output is not solely the polished product of the excavations of a writer's emotional seam.
Let's use an analogy from mineralogy; minerals rarely exist in isolation. If diamond is present at a site, you can bet there will other carbon based minerals nearby (graphite etc..) Diamond is in high demand in the market but it doesn't mean diamond is the only mineral that exists in the mines. Some fictions trade in misery yet writers aren't miserable. Our seams are richer than that. Let us surprise you.