All Writers Are Difficult People
Posted by HartOfBeck
Is That True?
In this article, written by Philip Hensher, the writer appears to have watched a TV interview of the wife of novelist, Ian Rankin, then gleaned information about a few other authors’ spouses, to create this article. Is that really enough research to support his statement that, “All in all, writers, and particularly novelists, are difficult people, with periods of their greatest difficulty tied predictably to their best achievement”?
No, it isn’t because Ian Rankin, nor his wife’s opinion, represent all writers.
What Writing Requires
My husband, Best Selling Technology Author, Peter H. Gregory, is not a novelist. He writes data and technology books (over 30 of them); however, I doubt that the writing process looks much different between that of a novelist and that of a guy who writes information books. It’s hard work. It requires an intelligent, creative mind. It requires peace and quiet and an environment that supports it. Who doesn’t understand this? I knew what I was getting into and it didn’t bother me. I am independent enough myself to welcome the time to do my own work like painting, renovating houses, or managing our businesses. Maybe Mrs. Rankin just isn’t wired this way or maybe when she married Mr. Rankin he was doing something altogether different, or maybe she’s the one who is difficult. We really don’t know. Or maybe Ian Rankin is difficult. If so, can it be said that he represents all writers? Of course not.
Supportive of the Writer and Involved
Peter had written a handful of books before we got married. When I got laid off from my job he suggested I become his Business Manager. I took the job and it has worked out well for us, very well in fact. Peter was able to boost his writing productivity up, from a handful of books, to 20+ books in the eight years since we partnered.
Surely, if anyone could be an expert on whether or not authors are difficult, it would be someone who lives and works with one. My job is not for everyone but apparently, the writer of this article didn’t find any writer’s wives who were even happy about their spouse’s career let alone find any who could say that their husband was a nice guy, and not difficult.
Show Me Proof That “All Writers Are Difficult People”
Saying that, “All in all, writers, and particularly novelists, are difficult people”, is just as absurd as me saying, “All in all, writers and particularly technology authors, are nice people.” I am sure that there are technology writers out there who are not nice people. And, I can accept that some novelists, maybe even most of them, are difficult but to say that all writers are difficult people, is a generalization without good data to support it. Nobody asked me so there goes the “all” statement right there.
Surely amongst the thousands of authors that Mr. Hensher didn’t interview, there are more than a few are nice guys. There goes the “all” statement again. I know some other authors. Their spouses say they’re nice people and not difficult. There goes the “all” statement yet again!
Time for an Article About the Non-difficult Authors
Commenting on the article was closed after only nine entries. Nearly every commenter took issue with it. My advice to Mr. Hensher is to write a counter article; one that interviews some of us who think being married to an author has been one of the greatest experiences of our lives.
I, and the others who commented, can happily supply evidence that not all writers are difficult people. Some of them are even fun!