I’ve often wondered why people readily call in an attorney, an electrician, an accountant or other expert when needed, yet may hesitate to hire a writer. We can’t possibly be scarier than some of the experts I’ve known (especially that landscaper guy).
Maybe it’s because almost everyone can write at least a little bit, so the DIY syndrome kicks in, along with the thought: I can do that! I should do that!
Excellent idea! Except . . . it doesn’t get done on time. Or it doesn’t get done well. Or, it doesn’t get done at all.
What happens next? Writing tasks are set aside, assigned to someone who has other primary duties, or undertaken by someone (you?) who could better spend his time at something else, like having lunch once in a while.
On the other hand, Fear of Writers is a legitimate concern! I speak from experience, having known many writers — some to my eternal regret. I’ve had writer boyfriends who were competitive and jealous. I’ve had writer girlfriends who wanted my job. I’ve had writer bosses who yelled, crumpled up my copy, and edited me so badly they made errors in fact – the worst kind of editing there is, because – who gets blamed? – the writer.
So, yes. writers, despite what we sometimes pretend, are not always perfect human beings.
If we’re good at what we do, though – we’ll be forgiven some of our personal shortcomings. In that vein, I must admit that the writers I’ve known and worked with are among the people I admire and like most – even the scary ones.