Monday 27 June 2016

Trust Me I Lie (or, the true confessions of a writer on social media ... )

I've never been great at lying. If you're worried that your bum looks big in whatever you're wearing, I'm not the person to ask for an opinion. I'm also a blurter, so I've probably let you know before you've even thought to ask. Or, as my husband puts it, 'Louise, you have the subtlety of a breeze block'. It's one of the reasons I prefer the written word. I can go back and check how many times I've put my foot in it before I hit send/post.

Not me, obviously
(I need to have a nice photo here to illustrate
the post when it's auto-shared on social media)

But being a writer means I get to lie for a living. All those characters and events in my books? Totally made up. (You probably guessed that, right?) What a great life I have, drifting around in my pyjamas, drinking endless cups of coffee (actually, it's decaff), waiting for the muse to strike - when I'm not down the pub with my mates celebrating the launch of another book ... 

Me with Novelista Trisha Ashley
Yeah, right. 

Don't believe everything you read on social media, particularly anything tagged #amwriting. Because, obviously, I can't be writing if I'm on Twitter. And if I do have a writing day planned, just putting #amwriting in my status is enough to put a curse on it. I'll have some kind of domestic disaster and, instead of actually writing, I'll be lying in a foamy puddle trying to unblock my washing machine. Or one of my children will get sick (and then we'll all get sick), or something important will drop off my car and I'll have to get it fixed.

My real writing life is opening my laptop at 7.00 am (or earlier) and thinking 'I'm sure I was only here a couple of hours ago', and I probably was if I was on a deadline. My real writing life is having my laptop crash three times while I'm trying to do an essential update to my website. My real writing life is struggling with the tenth rewrite of the chapter-from-hell when I have the kind of migraine that I could quite cheerfully drive a stake through my head if I thought it would help. 

My not-quite-so-real writing life is smugly announcing on Facebook that I've written over 10,000 words that day and isn't that brilliant? Of course it is, I usually only manage 1,000 a day if I'm luckyBut some poor would-be writer will see that update and think I'm writing that amount every day. The same would-be writer who sees a photo of me at a book launch and thinks what a wonderful, glamorous life writers lead. (See puddle story). 

What else do I lie about? Well, there's my bio for a start. I used to have a beautiful view of Snowdon (famous Welsh mountain) from my window - but then we moved house eighteen months ago and now I have a beautiful view of the village bus stop instead. Doesn't have quite the same ring, does it? Although I can probably still see Snowdon if I go into my bedroom, stand on my dressing table and lean out of the window.

Beautiful view of Snowdon!
(one of those blue smudges ... )
Then there is the photo of my desk, which accompanies all those 'Where I Write' blog posts. All nicely tidied ...

Here's what it actually looks like right now (it usually looks worse). But I did dust first - I don't want you thinking I'm a total slob.

And then there's the photo of me, with make-up, looking all glamorous with my hair straightened to an inch of its life by a professional hairdresser. (When I try it, I just burn my fingers).

And here's how I look the rest of the time (taken yesterday on the webcam).

Yes, I really do look that harassed. And this is the first time I've used the webcam, hence the pained expression. And I hate having my photo taken.

So there you go, I'm a writer on social media.

Trust me, I lie.

Related Posts:

Trust Me I Lie is also the title of my latest book (see what I did there?)

When Milla Graham arrives in the picture-perfect village of Buckley, she tells everyone she’s investigating the murder of her mother who died eighteen years ago. But there’s already one Milla Graham buried in the churchyard and another about to be found dead in the derelict family mansion.

Obviously she’s lying.

Detective Inspector Ben Taylor has no life outside the police force. Even his own colleagues think he’s a boring stick-in-the-mud. But now he’s met Milla and his safe, comfortable life has been turned upside down. She’s crashed his car, emptied his wallet and is about to get him fired.

He knows she’s a liar because she cheerfully told him so.

Unless she’s lying about that too …

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Photo credits: Girl with fingers crossed: Shutterstock


  1. Will you hate me if I say I prefer your webcam photo? I love your curls! (said with the envy of someone whose hair is straighter than a Roman road)

    1. Ha! Thank you, Vicky! We always want what we can't have, don't we? As a child I always wished for straight hair!

  2. Hey, you can SEE your desk - and I'm not just talking about the surface, either. I stupidly decorated and remodelled my son's bedroom just as he was getting involved in revision for GCSEs - so all his stuff that I put in my study 'temporarily' is still there. I'm sure my desk is still in there somewhere, at the back... probably...

    1. Ha! Only just! And now someone's dumped the printer on my desk, so I have even less space!

      Can't you sneak his stuff back when he's not looking?

  3. Well done Louise, the best way to inspire others to just be themselves is by being yourself - so thank you! PS. Release the curls!! They're beautiful (but I also straighten mine, so pot/kettle ;)

    1. Aw, thank you Evie! The curls are even madder today - I got caught in the rain!

  4. Ha ha, love it! I too have very curly hair - my straighteners are one of my best friends! I've spent over 45 years trying not to get caught in the rain, and buying coats with hoods :)

    Don't worry - I'd be highly suspicious of a writer's desk that was all neat and filled with arty objects. I would mean you were 'being writer' instead of 'writing'. Mine has a 1.99 plastic fan, a chipped mug filled with pens, a coffee stained coaster (soon to have a cup of coffee on it, I hope), and a pile of paper with scribbles on it. Beside me, on the arm of the settee, is an open dictionary, and another messy pile of paper. My view is a blank wall. And I only dust it about once a month. :)

    1. 1) I bet you know where to find everything.
      2) You write on a sofa? #jealous
      3) I have FOUR mugs filled with pens #smug (and two mugs filled with cold coffee #bleaugh)
      4) You dust once a month? My desk has it's own ecosystem ...

    2. And that misplaced apostrophe was definitely the fault of autocorrect

      *crosses fingers*

  5. Love this post, Louise! And also like your webcam pic best :)

  6. We all have curl envy! Great post, Louise. I don't trust people who write squillions of words every day and have neat desks - it's not fair on the rest of us!

  7. I enjoyed reading this, especially since so much of what you said is me! LOL But to add to what others have said, I like the webcam curls better. :)

    1. Oh,thank you! I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!