There is an internet image meme going around along the lines of “What People Think _____ Do,” the “blank” being filled in by variation occupations (entrepreneurs, producers, etc).
There is a screenwriter meme that is pretty close to fiction writing, but not so close enough so as to be satisfying. And a professor one that makes me laugh–because I teach at a community college, and that one, that one resonates.
I think it’s time for a “What People Think Fiction Writers Do” poster. But since I’m a writer, and not a graphic artist, I am going to put down my thoughts in writing, and not attempt photographic images.
What I’ve started needs some revision, but you get the idea…of What People Think (Fiction) Writers Do:
What my mom thinks I do: never make money and sleep on a park bench at night
What my friends think I do: sleep in, take luxurious lunches, peruse bookstores in the afternoon, and be reliably available for coffee/lunch/dinner/drinks
What society thinks I do: come up with an idea and while impeccably coiffed with a cup of gourmet coffee, write the novel in four hours in aforementioned coiffed state and in my spare time, go to an Occupy protest or fall in love.
What “investors” i.e., editors/agents think I do: never sleep, never shower, hardly eat, never FB, typing away with bleeding fingers
What I think I do: Stare at the wall all day, end up with three words.
What I really do: stare at the wall, fight back tears, write, delete all that i write, write some more, find a sentence i like, celebrate (tweet/FB/watch TV/drink before the self doubt erodes all joy), then write some more, delete all that i write, stare at the wall some more, believe that the wall will give me answers, write some more…and spend a lot of time on twitter/FB and watching TV, and procrastinating…go back and write, delete, write some more. somehow write three words a day until i have a novel in a year/decade
Update: My gracious blog reader, Jelena, decide to share with me her rendition of “What (Fiction) Writers Do.” I love it!