You’ve probably heard people say, “I’ve always wanted to write,” as often as I have. Gets old, doesn’t it? Maybe you’ve said it yourself. An estimated 80 million Americans want to write a book. But how many actually write anything, let alone a book? For most people, being a writer is just a vague dream.
Real creative writers believe in themselves and their dreams. They read, especially works by authors in their genre. I’ve finished some books and, without leaving my seat, begun reading the book again from page 1, not only to enjoy the book again, but to examine how the author pulled it off.
Real writers take courses and participate in critique groups to improve their craft. It might be easy to write, but it’s not easy to write well, unless you are armed with the right attitude and tools.
Real writers are disciplined—able to force themselves to write, even when the muse is nowhere in the vicinity. They’re willing to write and rewrite, organize and reorganize that recalcitrant manuscript. They’re determined not to expose it to the public until it’s truly powerful. (See Please Don’t Submit your Writing Yet—Please!)
Those who are serious about writing are profoundly observant, noticing what’s said and happening around them. They’re interested in how and why things happen as they do. They struggle to confer meaning on the mystery and chaos of existence.
Creative writers have a need to express their ideas and unique perspective. They love words and appreciate the power of language. They’re able to envision an appropriate audience and write for it.
Finally, real writers write. They don’t just talk about it.
- Studying the writing of authors in your genre?
- Relentlessly working make your writing sparkle?
- Observant and curious?
- In love with words?
If so, you’ve got a good chance of becoming a bona fide writer, not just someone who fantasizes about it.
Are you a real writer? If not, here’s How to Become a Writer.
Margy Rydzynski says
You’re absolutely right, Lynette. My writing has improved a hundred-fold since joining a writers’ group, where the process of creation and criticism go hand-in-hand. Good writing is hard work and it’s best not to have an ego about it, particularly if you’re looking for useful feedback.
Lynette Benton says
Thanks, Margy. I want to see beginning writers take that attitude rather than assume their first crack(s) at writing are just fine.
Lauren @ Pure Text says
I didn’t used to be a real writer. I wrote and loved it, but I didn’t realize the level of commitment I’d have to put forth in order to reach my dream of publication.
I’ve been much more “real” for a while as far as analyzing the writing of others/reading with the intention of bettering my writing, but I’ve still got some work to do as far as sticking to my writing schedule.
Also, the realer a writer I am, the better an editor I am, and that’s one of my primary concerns.
Anyway, great post! I linked to it on my Twitter (@puretext).
Lynette Benton says
Always love hearing from you, Lauren. Tx for the comment. Good point; being a better writer makes us better editors, and vice versa.