I don’t think you can generalize an answer to these questions. I’m sure every writer and author will have a different answer. It will be interesting to see how the other authors in this group reply to the question.
For myself, I think writing does change the author. First, we can finally validate those voices in our heads that writers hear. Writers also become more observant. We watch people in restaurants, on streets, in parks, wherever we go. We eavesdrop on conversations and watch the participant's facial expressions, gestures, and body image. We try to imagine the people’s backgrounds and history. What are their goals? Why are they rushing down a street?
Our curiosity intensifies as we develop our characters. I find myself talking to an owner of a restaurant about how he opened the restaurant and stories about some of his experiences and writing the information on a napkin. I scribble notes as I watch a man describing something with his hands. I close my eyes as I think about how to describe a smell that envelopes me.
Also, as a writer, I join writing organizations and talk to other people who understand writing, and those voices we live with.
So yes, I think writing changed me. It’s made me more observant honed my descriptive skills and made me more aware of people I know and their goals and objectives. And housework dropped way down on my to-do list.
I’m looking forward to what other authors have to say about this topic.
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2jz
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com