I like to Google-Search stuff sometimes. Sometimes it’s writerly stuff that I need to know (for instance, when the screwdriver was first invented/mentioned) and sometimes it just weird stuff that occurs to me as I’m taking a break from writing (or procrastinating, as it’s otherwise known).
This afternoon I Google-Searched for images of writers. It came up with some interesting pictures. According to Google, writers are people who drink, smoke, love cats, tea and/or coffee, and live in cluttered, paper-strewn offices and studio apartments.
And my personal favourite?
<– This guy. He’s wondering what the heck he did to bring himself to this point in his life.
By and large, then, there seems to be a general idea of what a writer is/likes/does. Which is interesting, because it prompted me to think about the writers I know (other than myself, of course).
99% of the writers I know love and/or have cats. Myself, I feel about cats much the same way that I feel about spiders. Most of ’em are too big to squish without feeling sick and the ones that aren’t make you feel creepy-crawly up the back for ages after you do squish ’em. If you want to know more about my brief experiment with having a cat in my house, I refer you to The Saga Of Cat. TL;DR? It didn’t work out so well. I’m definitely a dog person.
Smoking and drinking? Don’t know many writers who smoke: we seem to (mostly) know better nowadays. Drinking appears to be more common, though from what I can tell it’s more of a celebratory/after work type thing. The days of artistically drunk writers who scrawl away under the influence seem to be largely gone. Though if you replace ‘whiskey’ with ‘bacon’, then I, too, frequently write while under the influence. Each to his own, eh?
Tea and coffee now, that’s where I become properly writerly. I love my cuppa tea. Several a day, in fact. Writers are divided between tea and coffee, but it’s always either one or the other. Can’t get through the day without at least one cup. Getting up when you’re stuck at a difficult part in the paragraph, savouring a moment of peace in the storm of words with your fingers wrapped around a warm cup and the scent of tea lingering in the steam. Pepping yourself up with the caffeine. We’ve all been there.
Now when it comes right down to littered houses, I’m slightly red-faced. My house isn’t in the best state at the moment. That, however, is not a constant state: if I have too much clutter around me, I can’t concentrate, and I can’t write. There are sometimes that I literally have to clean before I can settle to write. Procrastination? Writer’s Block? Maybe. But I prefer a clean house. The other writers I know waver between highs of spotlessly clean desk/house/nook/other, and troughs of the time in between, when everything slides slowly until it’s a huge mess again.
So what are your writerly things? What are some of the stereotypes you’ve seen? Are they some of the ones I’ve mentioned, or do you have your own weird writerly things that no one else seems to have?