Author Topic: What kind of writer are you?  (Read 83 times)

Gyppo

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What kind of writer are you?
« on: February 14, 2020, 09:11:27 PM »
Being a Writer

   There are millions of words written about how to become a better writer, or how to improve a particular area such as dialogue or plotting.   In short, books which deal with the essential 'nuts and bolts' of writing.  But some of these books – not all – tend to overlook the most important part of the equation.

   You.

   That's right. You are the most important part.  All the other stuff is just tools to  help you do the job.  Sure, you need to know how to use them, but most of writing happens in your head, so lets get your head straight, in proper writing mode.

   Some of what follows may seem painfully obvious, but for every item where you say “Yeah, yeah, know that” there's likely to be at least one where you'll say “Damn, is it really that simple?”

   Writers come in all shape, sizes, and abilities.  They have very different approaches to life and to writing.  One of the first steps is to find out which kind of writer you are.

   Do you thrive on adversity?  Would you scratch your words on a wall with bleeding fingernails if someone locked you up and took away pens and paper?

   Or do you dream of writing in a luxuriously appointed writing room, where everything you need is readily to hand and servants of the appropriate gender will feed you and wipe your fevered brow as you work?

   In truth most of us probably come somewhere between the two extremes.  I certainly do.  But, just for the record, I have had the experience of an over-attentive hand-maiden providing coffee, sandwiches, etc, but after a while it starts to cloy, and no matter how unobtrusive she tries to be it will eventually grate and spoil your flow..

   On the other hand I've worked in a tent during a thunderstorm along the Cornish Coast, scribbling notes on stolen toilet paper with a borrowed eyebrow pencil in the absence of anything better.

        Find out what makes you want to write and it gets easier.

        Gyppo

Jo Bannister

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Re: What kind of writer are you?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2020, 09:37:15 AM »
Not sure what kind of a writer I am, Gyppo.

I know I was always writing for pleasure long before there was any money, or any prospect of money, in it.  I know I constantly play with words in my head even now - not as part of a professional project, just because that's how I think.  How I am.

I know I believe with all my heart that mastery of one's language is the greatest achievement of our lives, and one that repays us a thousand times over.  It feeds our souls, it feeds our brains, and it feeds our bodies - because any employer, in any field, faced with two candidates for a job, will always pick the one who can express himself/herself best.  All the knowledge in all the world becomes available to us when we understand what books can do.

So you tell me what kind of a writer I am! 


Firefly

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Re: What kind of writer are you?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2020, 10:01:09 AM »
I know I was born a writer, good bad or ugly. I do find it hard to write on a computer, much prefer pen and paper and outside for whatever reason. Once it's on paper I don't mind typing it up but I have to say, I hardly touch writing these days. I don't do plots, just what transpires so no beginning, middle and end planned out. Maybe I will get the mojo back at some stage but no idea what sort I am.
Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it alive

Gyppo

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Re: What kind of writer are you?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2020, 07:20:25 PM »
Jo, I could say you were a natural writer, the sort who can't not write.  But we've both been writing long enough to know that's a lazy description, and like most 'word people'. we're suspicious and distrustful of easy labels.  Most folks would just take that to mean you were born with a gift and it's always been easy.  I can almost hear your snort of derision from here ;-).

I'd say we both fall into the category of instinctive writers, word lovers who simply can't leave an apposite phrase alone, or any stray idea which needs to be pinned down and then expanded upon.  We love it, that's true.  But we've also learned that by putting in the time and watching the world we can always get better, and that complacency is the enemy.

We learn which conventions are worth respecting, in the interests of a broader communication, and which we can drive a truck through without fear.

Polished instinctive, and still searching.   Would you be happy to wear that hat?   Can I put my crystal ball back under its cover now? ;-)

Gyppo

Jo Bannister

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Re: What kind of writer are you?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 10:35:50 AM »
Yup, I'm happy with that, Gyppo.  And please will you write my obituary when the time comes?