Writers are quirky and strange and slightly nuts (okay, a lotta nuts), but we're also pretty dang AWESOME too. I mean, we write in our pj's, drink caffeinated beverages, are never alone because of all the voices in our head, and have the best imaginations EVER!
But I've watched a few shows/movies lately where a character, who is an author, made me cringe a little inside. Their antics don't help "improve" the writer/author image AT ALL! *shivers at the memory*
Yes, we're weird. I get that. But when I watch a television show, such as HART OF DIXIE where Joel, a new character this season who plays Zoe Hart's author boyfriend, acts like an idiot, I end up pulling a weird face and just shaking my head all the while thinking, "This guy totally annoys me. I hate him. The weirdo." That's not good. He is a total monkey butt. I should be like, "Hello, brother! How goes the writing." But instead, I keep hoping he'll be killed off already (there was a zipline episode where I had my fingers crossed, but unfortunately, it's not that kind of show).
So what is it about Joel that makes me hate him so much? Well, one of the first scenes with Joel is when he meets the Mayor, Lavon Hayes (Zoe's best friend), and finding out that the Mayor read his published book but gave him a negative review. Joel remembered the review and even the profile name of the person who'd left it. Who does that? Only INSANE writers, who shouldn't be writers, that's who. He then proceeded to follow Mayor Hayes around asking him for a reason for the negative review, and when the Mayor couldn't quite remember, he begged him to change the review, since he didn't have a valid reason for it. HELLO? That is horrible behavior. Do some authors do that? Of course they do, but NOT all authors act like that. In fact, many authors are very professional and act accordingly. Joel's portrayal makes us all look a bit stalkerish, crazy, and needy. Plus the guy carries around a desk lamp with him so he can write at a table in the middle of a busy bar. A BAR! He wanted to "set the mood." Yeah, as if that doesn't make us writers look any less weird.
Then about a week later, I decided to watch some Netflix and decided to watch the movie Young Adult with Charlize Theron. HOLY MOLY! Let's talk about an author who is looney tunes! She is a NUTS to the extreme. She ghost writes a Young Adult series (thus the name for the movie) and she has strange superiority ideas. The series is going out of print, but she doesn't want to face it. She even tries to sign all the paperback copies in a bookstore to force the bookstore to keep the books so they can't return them to the publisher (signed copies can't be returned). But the whole movie is one that will make anyone, even non-writers, feel uncomfortable the entire time.
The premise for the movie is that she is going back home to reconnect with an ex-boyfriend who just so happens to be married with a new baby. In her mind, she believes they belong together and so she's going to "save" him from his prison-like marriage and the horribleness of having a kid. The whole movie is crazy, but wow, her antics as an author are pitiful and again puts authors in a very, very, very bad light.
As I've said before, writers/authors are a weird bunch, but really? REALLY? We're not THAT bad, are we? I have quirks and craziness, but I will state right here, right now, that I have NEVER carried a desk lamp around with me to "set the mood." That's going a little too far. I'm a nice person. I'm not psycho (well, I've never been tested, but the voices in my head tell me I'm normal).
I really hate these kind of author portrayals. We're not all conceited and shallow and into ourselves as these characters seem to be. So why do Hollywood writers think this is what we authors do? Where are the nice movies about totally sane writers? Anyone know of one good movie where the writer character is an awesome, decent, and rather sexy (why not) person? I'd like to wash this sour taste out of my mouth from watching these two shows. And please tell me we're not ALL crazy and nuts (just a little nuts is okay and expected--it's also fun).