Thursday, May 12, 2011

What does a writer look like?

When I was growing up, if you'd asked me what a writer looked like, I'd probably have answered along these lines - thin, pale, wan, intense, bespectacled. Picture an older Harry Potter, sans wand and that would have been it. At no point would my thoughts have wandered along these lines:

This is Mark Dapin, Good Weekend columnist, author of King of The Cross and various amusing travel books, launcher of Kerri Sackville's very funny book and general writer about town. He's on the cover of his local, free newspaper. He will present several Features Writing workshops at the Sydney Writers Festival - and I'm sad that I am not attending as this is a man who really knows his way around a feature. This is not a sponsored post, though (disclaimer coming), I have had a beer or two with Mark. Merely a reason to share this particular image with as wide an audience as possible.

Mark blogs here. Ignore the recent posts featuring pictures of roundabouts and have a read through. He's funny when he's not obsessed by roundabouts. And he needs some blogging encouragement.

Oh, and if you could tell him you really like it when bloggers end their posts with a question that would be great.

And then tell me, do you have, or have you ever had, a picture in your head of what a writer looks like?


  1. I have a picture in my head of what a writer looks like - but it came from a story I read as a child, about a little girl who wanted to be a writer. She dressed up in bright coloured shawls, long dresses, thick rimmed glasses - and she would let her hair go wild and untamed whenever she would "write". Now I STILL think of this image whenever I hear the word WRITER!

    Off to check out Mark's blog

  2. A friend of mine - his mother is a broadcaster and a writer. All writers, in my head, looked like her. Then his sister turned her hand to writing and is now a sucessful novelist. And my image is screwed.

  3. My image definitely features a garret and a lot of screwed up bits of paper and long, pale fingers, with a consumptive cough... I loved Robert Louis Stevenson as a child and I'm sure his picture is the image I have in my mind for a 'real' ie fiction writer. Sigh... whisk me off to Western Samoa to worship at his tomb.

  4. I'm not sure if I want Mark to end his post with a question, cos I always love pondering his writing... or leaving licking my forearm like I did recently (and I don't want him to change!)

    I just want him to write regularly and change the background from black to white.

    I adore him and the way he writes. I can't wait to read more... stuff. Perhaps less roundabouts though. x

  5. Yay!! I recognised his picture** when I was looking through the blogs I follow so went straight to this post. Love his writing, very very very funny. Thanks for the link to his blog I'm heading there right now....

    ** although I've never seen his face before. It's actually the folded arms I recognised from Good Weekend columns.

  6. I have a beutific imagine of writers. They are (male and female)wearing uncreased white linen.

    A lady sitting at a rosewood desk next to open French doors, sunlight streaming through voiles across the polished oak floorboards.

    A man, sitting in a Summerhouse that sun has faded over the years. Wearing a panama, gazing for inspiration across the garden, down the valley towards the sea.

    If that IS anyone here, please don't tell me.

    Im wearing paint covered jeans, my hair's in a scrunchy and the cat litter tray needs emptying!

  7. My uncle and aunty are both journalists, so growing up I always had an image of writers looking just like them. I think they're pretty cool actually... nothing like a Harry Potter sans wand ;o)
    I'll head over to check out Mark's blog... always keen to find more great reads around the place!

  8. I picture them with a cigarette in one hand, a glass of scotch in the other. I picture them laughing lustily, or saying things like, "Dahhling, it's going to be a bumpy ride, fasten your seat belts."

  9. Hm-mm? In my younger days , I would picture the pipe-smoking , intellectual type sitting in a home library being inspired by profound thought . Then I grew up and realized that everyone can be inspired ...but not everyone can write . And there was no particular look that went with the art .

  10. When I was younger, definitely an older person, glasses, crazy hair and a desk littered with empty tea cups. But now, I see writers everywhere - I think blogging has opened it up to everyone.

  11. My comment on this one was lost in bloggerspace. Which is probably just as well... x

  12. Haha, this is funny because I hadn't ever really thought about it but recently I have noticed that the more I look like a bag lady the more I write.

    I'm getting a perverse pleasure from going to pick the kids up at school dressed right down. In clothes I wouldn't normally wear out of the house.

    So maybe I think writers should look like scruffy bums who have loftier things on their mind than what they look like:)

    Or maybe I'm more happy and confident now after all this writing that I don't feel so pressurised to look good!


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