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Screw Your Stereotypes: A Writer's Reply

Photo courtesy of Fredrik Rubensson.

Us creative writers get a bad rap—the clichés and the stereotypes tell the masses we are tortured souls that drink lukewarm, black coffee and sit hunched in a barely lit room for hours, praying to a godless universe to let us finish this goddamn chapter. When you tell someone you’re a writer, they nod both bitchily and cordially and say, “Oh, you write?”

Photo courtesy of K.B. Owen.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a tortured soul because I’m not sure when the next season of Stranger Things will be released, and in all honesty, living can get quite torturous and there is no such thing as being immune to bad things because humans were meant to feel. In case you were wondering, that’s why we were given a brain and a heart.

And I have sipped on lukewarm coffee but that’s only because I couldn’t finish it fast enough, but I have never and will never drink coffee black because so help me God we need to add sugar to our coffee as an act of sugarcoating all of the bad that comes out of rolling out of bed in the morning. With a little bit of sugar and maybe some cream, we can get our asses up and not head out the door mad at the world.

I also have sat up until sunrise in my darkened bedroom because I just. needed. to finish. this chapter. but isn’t it great to be alone with yourself when the sun peaks up out of the horizon and you get to do what you love? I’m sounding like a screenwriter for a teen romance movie where young lovers lay in the bed of a truck and watch stars until the morning, but I get an ooey-gooey feeling when I watch those stupid movies and I get that same feeling when I write for as long as the New York Marathon goes on.

So we are sometimes true to our stereotypes. Yet we are a collective group of people trying to put the human experience into words and stumbling along the journey to capture everything’s essence. And isn’t that a horrible thing to shrink down into a stereotype that trivializes a passion?

A quote from Anaïs Nin reads: “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” So if I must drink coffee lukewarm and black in order to adhere to that, then I guess I must stop sugarcoating.

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