So today’s post is going to be waaaaay different from what you will usually see here. Although this is a technical writing blog and not a creative writing, personal, or hobby blog, I though it would be fun to touch on a topic that has been on my mind.
Earlier on in my college career, as I was still trying to decide on a major (I switched like four times guys….) I knew I wanted to go into something with writing and technology but I wasn’t sure what. I experimented a bit with various types of writing (creative, technical, legal, etc.) and eventually landed on technical writing. However, other types of writing still capture my interest and I know that there are many different types of writers that follow this blog. That being said, this post is for all of the writers out there because, honestly, I feel like we kind of get a bad rap.
So, here are five common misconceptions about writers that I think need to be re-evaluated. I hope you enjoy!
1. Writers make NO money
There is some truth to this. In general, being a writer is not the best-paying job on the planet, and many do struggle to make writing their career. However to say that ALL writers make no money is definitely not true. Writing is one of those careers that you have to work for, and do correctly in order to make it a career. First of all, as opposed to your direct and specified college degrees with jobs attached such as nursing or teaching, writing is a degree that has multiple different types, and also multiple different avenues in which can take after graduation. One does not simply graduate college having majored in some type of writing and say “okay, now I’m a writer,” and know exactly what that means. In reality, there are multiple different types of writers with all ranges of salaries. For example, the average starting salary for a technical writer about $60,000. However depending on who that writer is working for, their salary can range anywhere from $30,000 to six figures per year and they can do all of that coming out of college with a degree in technical writing and then specifications in their field. So, in reality making money as a writer really depends on your niche, who you work for, and if you approach your career in the correct way.
2. Writers are introverts
I, for one, can speak against this stereotype. I have write and I have also always been an extrovert, and people usually energize me a heck of a lot more than sitting alone in my room watching Netflix. This misconception, once again, can be proven wrong by the reality that there are many different jobs and career styles out there for a writer, and not all of them include sitting alone on your couch all day (I think this misconception also stems from the idea that all writers write novels). For example, one of the most common jobs for someone coming out of college with a writing degree is journalism. Journalism, in itself, is a very social and interactive job because it often involves interviews, working with others in a collaborative setting, and presenting your ideas to others in order to receive feedback. None of these would be considered extroverted activities, yet a journalist’s job revolved around writing. Another example of this is a technical writer that works in marketing and sales. These types of writers have to be in constant communication with other sales representatives and marketing managers in order to complete their proposals and pieces. In addition, writers that are in marketing must also be excellent conversationalists in order to properly analyze how consumers will think and respond to their tactics.
3. Writers are caffeine and coffee shop addicts
I addressed this in a previous post….not all writers write in coffee shops. I work as a barista at a coffee shop, and, although I do see several people tying away on their laptops, I can’t be sure that all of these people are writers. In fact, I know that many writers find writing in a coffee shop difficult and distracting (me for one…). As to the caffeine addiction, I can only speak for myself. However, it is unlikely that ALL writers are caffeine addicts, and while many probably do drink coffee every morning, so do a lot of other people that never write.
4. Writers are overly emotional and have to write in order to cope
This misconception applies more to fictional writers (obviously a technical writer working for a law firm is not going to work very hard to express their own personal, emotional opinions). However, even fictional writers do not entirely fall under this stereotype. Many times, the stories that these authors write have very little to do with their own opinion at all. Why? Because they are fiction (this is why fiction is called fiction people…). Fiction is supposed to be untrue, unreal, and non reality. While reality-based books that are fiction can feel very real, this does not automatically mean that the authors of these books are trying to tell their life story or tell everyone how amazing and emotional they are (although…to the the authors that do this props to you because I find it extremely difficult to mix my life with fiction). Keep in mind that something you read isn’t always the same thing that the writer feels. While some writers may be very emotional, many are not.
5. Writers love to read
Reading and writing are two different things. Some people love to read and have never written anything, and some people are avid writers and hate to read (I can prove the latter to be true…). Just because your stereotypical writer is pictured with their nose in a book, soaking up inspiration with every page, does not mean that all (if even most) writers like to read. In fact, while this may sound selfish, many writers only care about their own writing, not the writing of others. In this case, a writer may actually do very little reading outside of what they absolutely have to do.
***That’s it! Thanks so much for reading guys! I hope you found this post amusing and interesting. Please share in the comments what you think about these misconceptions, if you fall under any of them, or other writer’s stereotypes you have heard of. I always love to hear from you guys!***