The secret lives of writers
OK, it's time to tell you the truth. Sometimes the truth can be awkward. Or downright ugly. Some people can't even handle the truth.
But I feel it's my solemn duty to outline for you all the things that writers do when they're not writing.
I know, I know. It's confronting. You like to imagine that authors sit at their desks all day tapping away on the keyboard with brief breaks only to allow inspiration to strike.
Ah, if it were only so.
Here, instead, is the terrible reality.
This is what writers really do:
Faff about on Twitter and facebook. Especially Twitter. In fact, the Oxford Dictionary recently announced that the new collective noun for authors is a Tweet. A flock of gulls, a parliament of owls, a tweet of authors.*
Read. Writers may pretend that it's research. Or it helps with writers' block. Or one day they might write a review. But in fact they just can't put that latest book down.
Housework. Hard to believe, I know. Most people spend all day avoiding doing the dishes. But given a choice between starting a new chapter when you have no idea what it should be and hanging out another load of washing, the Hills Hoist wins every time.
Fart. Of course, I don't. But I bet Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton do. A lot.
Drink coffee with other writers. You will find the receipts in our tax returns filed under "industry networking". (Not in MY tax return, you understand.)
Eavesdrop. Sure, some may call it spying. Or even a flagrant invasion of other people's privacy. We prefer to call it "ideas gathering".
Watch hilarious videos of cats (or dogs) on YouTube. Well, who doesn't?
Talk to ourselves. This is known in the trade as "drafting dialogue". But it mostly runs along the lines of "Where did I put that notebook? Wonder if X-Men 7 is on DVD yet? Here, kitty. I need more coffee. What happens if I push Alt and F8? Ouch, too hot. Who played Ginger in Gilligan's Island? Better do some work. Oh look! Shiny!"
And that's about it. Sad, but true.
Really, it's a wonder there are any books at all.
* I just made that up.