The 3 Types of Writers

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.

Tim Kane

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.


About Tim Kane

Tim Kane is a young adult fiction writer.
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8 Responses to The 3 Types of Writers

  1. I don’t consider myself a writer; I’m more of a storyteller. 🙂

  2. Alexandra says:

    Yes, for me, too.

    I am happiest when I’ve gotten a good chunk of time in my day, writing.

    I am happiest then, and feel so satisfied.

  3. John Randall says:

    Hi Tim! I was all set to disagree slightly with your third category. Even with an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing, I got sidetracked by teaching and never published more than a handful of stories and poems. Eventually got into computers, and now work for IBM as a project manager and technical editor.

    Ah, but then I had a flash of insight! You’re right. I don’t believe I’ve spent more than an occasional day in the last 30 years since grad school where I didn’t write at least 4 pages a day. Not exactly what I expected to write, but I do love it, and now that I’m nearing retirement, I’m turning back to fiction and poetry, as you can see from my web page.

    Nearing sixty-one and I’ve been able to do what I love for over forty years since I wrote my first story in the 11th grade. And you’re also right–it hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been rich and satisfying.

    So to all your readers: Listen to Rich. Let your star shine, ye Meek. You may not have God’s gift, ye Proud, but give all you’ve got. And for the rest of us who write the good write everyday, well, lucky us, eh?

  4. Tony Acree says:

    I definitely started in the number one category and am making the transition into the ranks of professional writers. There has never been any risk of me falling into the “God’s gift to writing” as my life long friends will attest, my poor spelling habits growing up makes any reality check unneeded.

  5. Great post! I, also, love that just-finished-a-book feeling. It’s an amazing high! And the best way to put that feeling into use is to jump into a new project. 🙂

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