Cool is a challenging state to achieve and highly difficult to maintain for more than short snippets of time. Consider the pressure involved. Even if I pulled out all the stops and had advisers on ‘cooldom’, I’d wobble like a kid on stilts and tumble from my perch. But weird–I’ve got that down. Back in my wanna be hippie days, I was approvingly termed ‘freaky’, the hippie term for quirky. Gnarly was never ever within my reach. Granted, my hippie era was a few decades ago, but I’ve hung in there and expanded weird; lends itself well to being an author. We’re a quirky bunch. Mental also applies. Some of us believe in the writing fairy. We call her ‘the muse’.
I don’t know who among us in the author world actually qualifies as cool, but suspect not many. Authors live off of caffeine and chocolate until doctors take it away, and even then…I’m not supposed to have either one, but just try getting me through a day without them. Earl Grey is my favorite tea, hot, with milk and sugar, and dark chocolate, flavored with mint, sea salt, and almonds…the specialty kinds.
A writer’s residence of choice is a cave, or secluded cabin, in some remote location with good internet and cell phone connections. Here we dwell, or would, while we labor over our next story, snapping at anyone who intrudes in our imaginary world, unless they bring treats. I swear with a week of uninterrupted time, I could finish my next book. But there’s no such thing, unless I run away. I’ve contemplated a mountain retreat.
Bilbo: “I want to see mountains again, mountains, Gandalf! And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book.”
Most writers fall into two different categories, those on meds and those who should be. I’m talking prescription, doctor monitored, meds. Rare are the writers who function well without them. And yes, drinking counts as a med. So does smoking. So does caffeine, but it’s the mildest of all addictions.
Apart from a death in the family, possibly our own, nothing matters quite so much to an author as how our work is faring. If the muse is with us, we’re euphoric; if not, we’re down, down, down. 1 star reviews never cease to annoy us, even if we’ve been in this rough and tumble world for years. And, if we have, 1 stars are not justified, probably not 2 stars either. You may not like the story, but that doesn’t mean it was written by an orangutan. Give us a little credit.
By and large, authors do not take criticism well. After the gnashing of teeth passes, we may apply any constructive insights offered and grow in our craft. Or not. It’s all about the story. If you don’t ‘get it’ that’s your problem. We’re busy writing. It’s what we do. And what would this world be without the storytellers? What if you were fated to write your own?
Writing is a vulnerable state: you bare your soul.
Oh, and most authors like cats. Or dogs. Or both. We write with our furbabies.