Monday, December 5, 2011

Why are Authors Misanthropic Assholes?

This is a tricky topic, because the answer is too simple.

People interrupt us just when we’ve figured out the perfect turn of phrase or the most amazing plot twist. They interrupt us, and the idea just shoots right out of our head, never to return.

So no, in general, we are not huge fans of people.

But of course, this is over-simplifying the truth. I can’t actually answer for every writer in the world since the dawn of time. All I can do is offer my opinion and experiences.

I’m sleep-deprived right now, so let’s bullet-point this, shall we? Great.

POINT: Children are cruel.
Our first experience of people in large doses tends to be children. Children do not tolerate anyone different. Writers have an overabundance of imaginary friends, which tends to make them different. ERGO, writers are often ostracized by their peers throughout childhood.

POINT: Being broke sucks.
It is really, really difficult to make any kind of real bank when you’re a professional writer. You generally have to find some way to take that talent and translate it into something that the business world is willing to pay for. The end result is either 1) being broke, 2) being stuck in a job you hate, or 3) a combination of 1 and 2.

POINT: Real life has crappy hours.
Inspiration does not strike at regularly scheduled times. When our imaginary friends show up at midnight, we want to be able to hang out with them. It’s really annoying that we have to ask them to wait because we have to get up in five hours.

POINT: Reality can’t measure up.
Seriously, we have whole imaginary worlds rattling around in our heads. Our characters think of comebacks right in the moment, instead of at 3 a.m., hours after the original confrontation. Physical attributes can be changed with the stroke of a pen (or keyboard). Basically, our world kicks the real world’s ass. So it’s a little hard to resist being a condescending jerk about it.

POINT: People are irritating.
We create the people we want to deal with. They are witty or slutty or vacuous or tender or erudite or funny as hell – and they are each exactly who we want them to be. We control who they are. We control their reactions, their responses, and their inner monologues. We can’t do that with real people, which is intensely frustrating.

So I totally made all this up over my second cup of coffee. It may be utter nonsense, but I promised I’d keep up with my blog, so this is what you get. The moral of the story is – reality sucks, and, for whatever reason, writers tend to get a little snarky about it.

1 comment:

Lisa Bilbrey said...

I love it, and you're so right!