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by esprit
Rated: E · Column · Writing · #806516
Does this describe you? It doesn’t me. 1-26-04
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Are You a Real Writer?

I love to write. Some of you know I wrote kids-lit for my grand-kids, home made just for them. I write for fun. I have also written some rants and a few random thoughts. I write nothing fancy, PC (punctuated correctly), or of novel length.

Since I became a member of this group, I’ve tried my hand at other genres, thanks to the prompts. My stories are short and quick to read. No novel is planned for ‘down the road’, no plans for publishing.

Can I then call myself a ‘real writer’? Am I serious enough about writing?

Writing this newsletter has required me to do a lot of researching on the craft of writing. Everything I have learned is because of this newsletter and Writing.Com. I read and study in preparation for the letter, and believe it or not, some of it sticks.

A paraphrased list I came across somewhere of writer’s tips.

A real writer is serious about writing, driven, and writes daily.
A real writer lets nothing come in the way of finishing the novel.
A real writer has a neat desk and keeps everything in the correct folder.
A real writer keeps a notebook with them at all times.
A real writer is well educated.
A real writer writes, he won't edit until the story is told.

Does this describe you? It doesn’t me. Does that mean I’m not a real writer? No, I don’t think so. Real writer’s write for themselves too. I write because I like to. I’m serious about the piece I’m working on, and I want it to be the best it can be. I’m not driven and I don’t feel the need to write daily.

My desk isn’t neat; it isn’t organized in the traditional way. I can find what I need though. Usually.

The most important ‘tip’ I know is ‘write for the joy of writing’. Write for yourself, for those you love. The publishing will happen if you research well and submit to the right place at the right time. From what I’ve read, it’s mainly a matter of luck. I know editors have turned down best sellers. If an author has a good story and is persistent with submitting, it will be published someday.

I have included this excerpt of an article because I think it is important. It is the direct opposite of everything I have read on the subject. I was glad to find it because it validates my feelings. It makes a lot of sense.

Real writers write every day. You've read this advice in every writing magazine, so it must be true, right? Real writers either dedicate a certain number of hours per day to writing, or don't stop until they've completed a certain number of pages. If you don't write every day, your writing muscle will get "flabby." If you don't write today, it will be harder to write tomorrow, and almost impossible the next day. Or so you're told. Alas, I can't recall where I read an article that beautifully punctured this myth, so I'll paraphrase: Do doctors see patients every day? Do sculptors sculpt every day? Do pastors preach every day? No! Folks with ordinary day jobs don't "work" every day, and neither do writers. Indeed, if we do not take time to relax, refresh, walk around, and interact with the world outside our keyboards, we are likely to lose our ability to remain "fresh" as writers -- not to mention the fact that we won't find very much to write about! That doesn't mean that a regular writing schedule isn't important; it is. But a regular "living" schedule is important too. If you're trying to write every day just because you think you must, writing will soon become a joyless chore, empty of passion or inspiration.
Copyright © 2001 Moira Allen
This article originally appeared on Inkspot.

Newsletter editors are real writers too!

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Issue #111
Edited by: esprit
Rate this newsletter here: "Are You a Real Writer? # 111
© Copyright 2004 esprit (storytime at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
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