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What Makes a True Writer

The question for this week comes from Debra:

What is the difference between a writer and a writer “wannabe”?

I’m going to try to answer this question as politically correct as possible. :) The easy answer to this is that a writer is anyone who writes. This can be for fun or for pursuit of publications. What I find in the business is that the writing industry can get a little self righteous. People start proclaiming that they are “true” writers because of such and such.

For example, I tend to write on a schedule nowadays, but as a teen I didn’t. Therefore, if I wanted I could say that I was a far superior writer back then because I wrote out of “passion” and not “routine.” Likewise, I could stand on a platform now and say I am far superior because I actually get work accomplished by working a schedule. What I find funny is that writers do this about smallest of things. They brainstorm and therefore are better at blah blah blah. They have a connection with some writer group so they are better than others. They write stories with meaning and not just “for fun.” The one that causes the most conflict is what type of published author someone is. Traditional versus Independent published causes heated debates in most writing circles many times.

For me, I try to accept anyone as a writer. Some are not my cup of tea, but then again I may feel others write much better and I can learn from them. Bottom line, we all create something in an effort to entertain. I’m not sure why the writing groups fall victim to the debate on who is better. I have to admit that a few years ago I would get suckered into the debates. Now, I try to avoid them. The debates happen anywhere. Even Stephen King is quoted putting down Stephanie Meyer’s writing. My explanation for the nature of the debates is that the world is so competitive in writing that we feel the need to promote ourselves. Only, I think we forget that while we promote ourselves to the industry, we are all in it together. We are all writers because we write. We are all trying to “break in” and have our work read. Therefore, no one is far superior.

So, to me, a “wannabe” writer is someone who proclaims themselves as a writer. They wear the funny outfits, walk around with a notebook in one hand and a pencil in one ear. They do not hesitate to criticize others because they are “a writer” and therefore know best. But, and here’s the key, they haven’t written anything. They haven’t written a short story, a poem, a novel. They don’t look into the profession, they don’t try to learn or grow. They live just to reflect an image and–in my experience–to tear others down.

I know my definition may be different than others. But I know there are a lot of good writers out there, and they come in so many different forms. The writing world is changing and authors are changing with it. I think the key is to remember that writers love to create. We love to dive into our own stories/worlds. It is what should pull us together. So don’t let definitions tear us apart.

**Eeek!!! I need more questions to answer. If you got one, please fill out this form and send it in. Anything writing, publishing, or my books related. Then I will answer them one at a time every Wednesday right here.