July 7, 2013

MUSE: Writers Don't Smile Much

During my last year as writer-in-residence, I've exposed myself to a ton of book reviews, author interviews, witty blogs and cheesy advice columns. A lot of it is common sense, most of it is either rehashing the past or projecting into the future. Writers are a narcissistic bunch, overall, possibly because they spend so much time alone and in their head. But why do they hate smiling for the camera? When I went to choose the author photo for my self-published book, I did a search and came up against a sea of some seriously stern-looking pen-fellows. Well, I'm grumpy too these days. Writing is joyful, the process of publishing is not. That might explain it.

Authors seem to prefer their images in black and white, too. It's as if colour and cheer are antithetical to their career - Take me seriously! Trust me, I am a deep thinker. More than that, I'm a tortured soul. I'm really tired and worn out. Oh yes, and I smoke cigarettes and have other vices. Isn't that the way? All except Margaret Atwood, with her perennial pixie smile. Even in colour, she looks authoritatively black and white.

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