All right, I gotta say it, and I mean it. Everyone is a serious writer. It doesn’t matter if you write two hundred bajillion words in a day, or just think maybe sorta writing a book would be cool. All writers are serious. I’ve never met a single person who identifies as a writer that wasn’t serious.
I’m tired of the limitless barrage of egotistical forum and blog posts asserting how much more serious of a writer someone is because s/he’s doing something other people aren’t or not doing something other people are. And how there’s a difference between real writers and amateur writers. No, it doesn’t have to do with money or publication credits or education. It’s about how serious you are. How many words you type, how often you think about writing seriously, how you comprehend plot structure and character development.
Not like those posers who start blogs and don’t keep up with them, that pay other people to format their books, that don’t understand publishing contracts or have stupid pen names or write cheap, flat, lurid, pasted together stories for mere entertainment, or self publish their books without an online platform (the humanity!) or don’t use spell check because they’re so dumb.
But writing is a process. When my Dad barely survived two heart attacks, I didn’t exactly keep my word count up. I barely did any writing the months when I changed jobs, the plumbing in our house blew up, or when I got married. I ditched a “literary” endeavor to write a zombie book because A) it’s zombies, that’s awesome and B) I’ve gotten a massively better reception from potential readers from this set of characters and storyline. I’ve launched my blog seven times. It took me five years to get my bachelors degree and six to write and edit my first novel, still unpublished. I wrote a play and it’s terrible. I kept it, but I fear it’s unsalvageable. I don’t have enough money to pay anyone to format my book, though I might do naughty things for someone to teach me (but that’s another story). Anyone can stumble upon a writer that has a lot to learn and a lot of ground to cover, but my guess is everyone’s been there. I know I have, and still am.
I understand there being a separation between “serious” writers and those they deem as… uh… “un-serious.” I have a list of people that irk me to no end with their delusional plans of literary grandeur, that swear they don’t have to read or listen to feedback, that everything they write is EPIC and everyone else is just so sub-par and books they like are good, but books they don’t like are horrible and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But there are some people that aren’t writers that are all talk and no action, lest it be mediocre or least-effort action which usually ends up being useless anyway. It’s not a curse restricted to writers.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be proud of the hard work you put into studying the craft of writing and working on your own. But the person using much less work and thought energy is just as proud and enthusiastic about his/her book as you are. You shouldn’t judge the quality of your work to how crappy someone else does theirs.
In summary: The term “serious writer” can be beneficial in some cases, but there are poser scrub newbie people in every field, including writing, and there always will be. So be a serious writer… just don’t talk about it.
And this is pretty much awesome.
Have a nice day.