I spent this weekend working very hard to upgrade a writing area in my living room. I posted pictures on Facebook last week of the initial working area, but realized this weekend what I had created really wasn't going to work for me. The office I put together was for a different kind of writer than who I wanted to be. And that got me wondering just how many types of writers are out there? After thinking about qualities I've noticed over the years from different people either saying they want to become a writer or in some way having achieved some level of success, I've come up with five different types of writers in the world today. Which one are you?
The "Gonna Write Me A Story Someday" Writer
I was talking to someone this weekend who was showing me this great micro recorder he carried around his neck to collect his thoughts. He told me he had always wanted to write a book and taping his ideas helped make sure that 'next great novel' didn't get away. The only problem is he never actually WROTE anything and I imagine when it comes time for him to retire, he will STILL be thinking about how he is 'gonna write me a story someday'.
The "I'm The Next J K Rowling" Writer
You know the kind. This writer has a very inflated ego and thinks just because they have strung 150,000 words together, they have somehow managed to create the next great teen series. Doesn't matter the storyline stinks, the characters are flat, and the writer has never heard of spell check. Surely that is what agents and editors are for...to clean things up to make their 'best seller' marketable while they sit back and wait for the royalty checks to roll in.
The "Marathon Researcher" Writer
This writer might have an original or even clever plot but they believe in going the extra mile to cover every angle of basic research needed for their story line. Before you know it that 'extra mile' turns into a marathon race to collect every conceivable tidbit of information connected to their story, whether they would ever be able to use it or not. These research hoarders just don't know when to put the note cards down and actually start writing the story.
The "Revising Until It's Perfect" Writer
Finishing a story isn't easy and most experienced writers know as soon as they type 'the end' on their story, the revision stage isn't too far away. But the 'revising until it's perfect' writer simply doesn't know when to stop. They have no understanding of when enough is enough and end up spending useless hours switching the same words around when they should simply step away from the computer and call it done.
The "Doing The Best I Can" Writer
The writer most of us would probably wish we were are the 'doing the best I can' writer. This type of writer stays focused on their goal of completing their story. Just the right amount of research is done to add authenticity to their manuscript and revisions are done with the reality only so much spit shining can be done to one story before you've got to let it stand on it's own merit. The 'doing the best I can' writer takes the time to learn their craft, seeks the help of others in the writing community when needed, and constantly strives to become a stronger story teller each and every day.
I'm sure we have all run into some of those other writers along the way but when I think about all the wonderful writely friends I've made over the years, I'm so proud to know they are more of the last group than anything else and that makes for lovely company...