Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Writers, attitudes

Somebody just said to me that he couldn't understand how somebody could like a writer's work, then meet the writer and dislike them.

This seems very strange to me. For example, I like some of Orson Scott Card's work, but can't stand his politics. I've also met writers I've admired and found them to be hard to get on with in person.

The flip side of this is that writers should not be judged by their work. If I write a horror story from the point of view of a serial killer, then there are some people who think that makes me a violent person. I once workshopped a story in which the point of view character was suicidal and had people ask me if I was okay - clearly writing about a suicidal character was some kind of plea for help and I was depressed, in their mind. A good mystery writer knows thousands of ways to kill somebody...does that mean they're more likely to commit a murder?

The writer creates and informs the work, but we are not our work...or shouldn't be.