Are you a Writer?

category: Articles
by Alexis Leon


Are you a writer or are you one who thinks you are a writer. According to Random House Dictionary a writer is a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., esp. as an occupation or profession.

A person does not need a published book or article to be a writer. And one does not become a writer just because he or she has published a book or story. The definition of a writer is someone who is passionate about writing, who lives to write and who cannot live without writing. So are you a writer?

Given below are a few tips given by N. M. Kelby in the wonderful book The Constant Art of Being a Writer. These tips helps you in identifying whether you are a writer or some sort of hack working on a pipe-dream. I really think that we all can learn a lot from these tips:

Real writers know that there is a market for all good writing, and so they hone their craft. Hack writers know they’ll be rich and famous if only they make the right connections.

Real writers revise and revise again. Hack writers say that the famed Jack Kerouac never revised and so they don’t have to.

Real writers understand that editors who reject them have made that decision based on their own taste and the marketplace. They know that somebody else will fall in love with their work; they just have to keep trying. Hacks know the editor has no taste and is stupid—and isn’t afraid to tell her that to her face either. Or send her an e-mail to that effect, or twelve e-mails. More is better.

Real writers work, even if they don’t feel like it. This is a job after all. Hacks work when they feel inspired. Writing, after all, is a calling.

Real writers know they can always learn from their mistakes and grow. Hacks know that they are right and refuse change despite what everyone tells them.

Real writers write because they love to write. Hacks write because it is an easy way to get rich.

Real writers know that sometimes you write a weak book. Hacks know there’s a cabal of publishers plotting against them.

Real writers know brilliance when they see it. Hacks know they are brilliant.

Real writers understand publishing is a cooperative and flawed industry. Hacks feel their talent makes them the exception to every rule.

Real writers know it’s easy to get discouraged and sometimes do.

Real writers are leery of praise and know that a publishing contract is the only true sign that the work is good.

Real writers define success by being able to write and know that sometimes that big paycheck never comes.

Real writers follow their hearts.

Hacks bellow, curse, blame, gossip, and snipe. They do anything they can do to hide their broken hearts—except work.

Source: The Constant Art of Being a Writer by N. M. Kelby.


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