Monday, January 17, 2011

Are You What You Write?

Have you ever watched the cable show What Not to Wear

It's a show where the couple above teaches others what clothes looks good on them. On every show that I've watched, they've told people over and over that how they dress projects an image of who they are to the world. So . . . if you dress sloppy, people see you as someone who doesn't care about appearance. This may ripple into other areas of your life. People might think you don't care about your work, your family, and etc.


So this made me wonder . . . have you ever thought about how people see you through the written word? You know what I mean, your blogs, short stories, novels, even emails--every written word posted, published or emailed must say something about you. 

If your blog posts are constantly about how depressed you feel others might see you like this:

If your short stories are dark your image might look like this:

If your emails are in ALL CAPS, PEOPLE MAY SEE YOU  LIKE THIS:

And novels . . . what do they say about the writers?




In this modern day and age, you would think people could separate writers from what they write. 

What do you think? Do you think readers form opinions about writers by the books they write?


  1. I think this is definitely the case--I have never met Janette Rallison, but her writing is so fun that I would expect her to be a comedienne in real life.

  2. Some people do. I've heard of people saying cruel and unfair things about Stephen King because he writes some disturbing stories. But those who actually know him or have met him have only great things to say about his personality.

    So it's really silly to assume you know a writer only by what they write!

  3. Rebecca,
    I've met Janette a couple of times. She's a lady with very quick wit.

    Thanks for telling me what you think on this matter. I find it very interesting.

  4. Laura,

    Yeah, it may be silly to think just because someone writes horror that they have a dark side. Just like it's silly to think actors who play evil people are evil. You and I know they aren't, but it's the perception I'm curious about.

    I remember one time a friend told me he didn't like Jack Nicholson because of certain roles he's played. That was silly, but for that person the perception was there.

    I don't think there is an easy answer because we are talking about opinions and whenever you do that there's always going to be differing views.

  5. Although I believe that little bits and pieces of a writer's own thoughts and personality will inevitably come out in their writing, I think it's a little foolish to make an assumption on the whole person based on what they write!

    Also, I think part of the fun of writing is having people guess at which parts are like you in real life. I'm often surprised at my own little snippets of personality that show up in the most unusual places!

  6. I agree that you cannot judge a person on one thing they have written, however, I do think that we have to draw from ourselves to write. I think every character we write has a little of us in them.
    Even the bad guys.
    I mean, that bad guy may have a characteristic we loathe, but our supreme dislike for that characteristic is still a part of our make-up. The romantic, the charlatan, the thief, the hero – all of them come from somewhere inside the writer’s mind. It doesn’t mean we give in to those tendencies or temptations in our life, but we let our characters do it.

  7. Tracy,
    Very true. It is fun to see what bubbles to the surface in our own writings. Thanks for contributing to the conversation. :)

  8. Christina:
    I love how you put that. We do draw from ourselves to write even the bad. What we dislike is part of our supreme make-up. I especially like having our characters deal with temptations. Takes it out of our hands. Or does it? Hmm...

    Well, that's best left for another post. :)


  9. Oh yes! That's why I don't tell people what I write unless they ask. Then I just keep it simple: Sci fi fantasy. But even then they give me weird looks.


  10. Aubrie,
    I would think they would be impressed, especially if they looked at your cover. :)



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