Friday, 5 December 2014

What kind of writer are you?

There are many different writers in the world. Which one are you?


The hobby writer really writes for themselves. They may have some vague aspiration that one day they could do this for a living but they don't necessarily have the time to devote to making their words as good as they can be. Or they don't really want to achieve more than this. They may not know how to submit to publishers, or they may not wish to. They may also write really amazing, beautiful and emotive words that if given the opportunity could be successful. What they lack is motivation but they don't mind as they just enjoy what they do!

What they need: Nothing at all if they are happy. Writing should be fun. It is also cathartic. And the hobby writer is usually happy just writing for nothing more than writing's sake.


This writer doesn't really care too much about the art of writing though they may have some modicum of skill in the field. They will understand structure and be able to shape words into a semblance of order that seems professional. Unfortunately though, they only care about being paid. They take on as much work as possible, with unattainable deadlines and the work that they produce is often below par because they spread themselves too thin. However the hack is approaching this as a business, and so as long as they get the words mostly in the right order, and the plot is okay, then they're happy. Generally though, the writing they produce is not particularly emotive or thought provoking.

What they need: A slap upside the head wouldn't hurt or rather a reality check that ALL writing should be done to the BEST of your ability. Money, fame, success should never have a bearing on it. A reminder that some of the most talented writers in the literary world barely make a living, if at all. To remember why they started to write in the first place. To write something that they WANT to write not what they HAVE to write. To write from the heart.


This writer wants fame. They don't necessarily want to write the best words in the best order, or to tell an emotive, shocking, wonderful, meaningful story. They have no knowledge at all of how to properly structure a story for the best emotional engagement with the reader but throw in as many clich├ęs as possible in the hope on hitting the right tone.They want to be a success and have the money that J K Rowling has but they do not want to work for it and have not earned their stripes by selling short fiction, poems, joining writers groups, getting an education or by any other means. They are potentially the reality TV star of the writing industry. This writer thinks they are above being edited. They believe they are better than their ability or don't mind taking the bows for the work that others put in to make them look good.

What they need: To learn how to write first and seek fame later. To be taught that success has to earned and that you don't deserve the title of 'celebrity' unless you have actually done something that deserves to be celebrated. That writing is about hard work and dedication, and above all passion for the written word and story telling. That writing is about talent not fame, success or money.


Wants a career in writing. They love writing and story telling. They may have raw enthusiasm, talent and loads of potential.They always want to write - it's in their blood. They are optimistic about their talent but not arrogant about it. They follow routes that take them to self improvement. This could be joining writer's groups, taking writing classes etc.

What they need: To read everything they can in the genre they want to write in. To practice writing. To write at least 1000 words a day. To take on board well-meaning criticism and use it to improve. To challenge themselves to write better with each new piece. Submit. Submit. Submit.


The professional writer spends hours writing, planning, thinking and above all submitting their work and ideas to publishers and editors because they are serious about what they are doing. This person may still have another full time job. They may not be able to afford the luxury of writing full time. Or they may be one of the lucky few who can live by their writing. What makes the professional writer different to the others is that they believe that they deserve to be paid for their work and at the same time want it to be the best it can be. This is a job to them but they still love what they do. They still feel the same passion they always did for writing. The professional believes in their ability because people buy their words, but they still want to write something which is better than the last piece they wrote. They have pride in their work, but not arrogance.

What they need: A publishing industry that pays good writers what they deserve to be paid. A publishing industry that promotes and nurtures them. A publishing industry that challenges them to keep achieving their very professional best. A publishing industry that doesn't throw aside these hard-working people who have honed their craft in favour of the 'next big thing' or transient writings from television 'celebrities'.

1 comment:

Barry Collins said...

I'm definitely the hobby writer. I enjoy doing it and like to do it at my own pace as I have a very worthwhile and satisfying job as you know. Could you share this again on FB and social media as this is very good advice for new and potential writers like myself and a few other friends of mine. Thanks Baz xx