As I stroll through Twitter or scan the blogs I notice there seem to be three key types of writers out there. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve pitched tent in each of these camps in my career.
The Meek “Don’t-Call-Me-A-Writer” Writer
Often the beginning writer, though this type can infect even veteran wordsmiths. Characterized by a lack of faith, this writer will not promote themselves. He believes he’s not a writer because the coveted prize of seeing his book prominently displayed at the front of a bookstore has not happened yet.
He is plagued by the notion that his writing is just a hobby and not good enough for public viewing. He takes few risks and works alone. The best way to break out of this mold is to join a writing critique group. Some honest feedback and encouragement will do wonders for this fellow.
The Self Proclaimed “God’s Gift to Writing”
This can also be writers beginning their journey. This writer knows, deep down, that her writing is the best that ever was. Agents and editors just don’t appreciate what she’s laying down. She may go to a critique group, but the critical suggestions slide off her Teflon skin.
She writes when she feels in the mood. And when she does, she spends hours meticulously henpecking over individual verbs. She’s obsessed with proper formatting and grammar peccadilloes. She’ll certainly point these out in your work.
This writer needs a reality check. A quick visit to Twitter will show her just how many working writers are out there. Perhaps if she knew that nearly 300,000 new books are published each and every year, she might wonder why her work is constantly being passed up.
The Professional Writer
This writer works every day. Rain or shine. He finishes a book or story, revises, and then produces another. And another. He understands that this is a craft and the process of writing will make him better. He attends a writing critique group and listens to the suggestions, but doesn’t feel weighed down by them.
We all strive for that final category, yet I often feel myself drifting into the other two. Mostly this happens just after I’ve completed a novel. I fell like I can walk on water and begin spending all that imaginary cash (that will most likely never happen). Then reality sets in and I slink back to meekdom for a bit.
Writing is a struggle. Day in. Day out. I love it and can’t imagine doing anything else.
PS: Any use of pronouns is entirely arbitrary. I don’t mean to imply that women writers are over confident and male writers are milquetoast. I mostly hate the use of he/she.