These random ramblings and author musings are designed to entertain, though they might drag you kicking and screaming through my daft indie publishing journey. If you are somehow inadvertently informed, or if you have discovered something useful within, well then . . . count that as a jolly coincidence. Thanks for reading! (header background - Sky_18 Free Texture #133 by Brenda Starr)

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Word of the week: audacity /ôˈdasitē/ (hear it!) - noun - a : intrepid boldness; b : bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Time, Effort, and Dedication

What makes someone a “real” writer?

So often I've heard this question around the forum I help admin. Used to be a “real” writer was someone whose work was picked up and published by someone else, and sure, that somewhat holds true today for some people. All right, a lot of people. Still. But come on, really, does that mean those who write full stories, however long, and never get picked up by a publisher aren't writers?

I would certainly hope not.

By definition, a writer is: “One who writes, especially as an occupation.” All right, so by definition, money is apparently attached, as the definition of “occupation” is: “an activity pursued as a livelihood” and a livelihood generally requires funds to support. But if a writer never receives any money for his work, what then? Does that mean he's not a writer?

I would certainly hope not.

The amount of currency and the ability to live upon the turnout of one's work shouldn't be the only measure of success for a writer, not with so many different measures of success out there. Yes, it's certainly possible that what one person deems successful, another might deem a failure. Does that mean one writer's success, however small, however non-money related, however quiet and unknown, makes him a failure?

I would certainly hope not.

What I believe makes a writer a “real” writer is his (or her!) strict dedication to the craft. The willingness and determination to learn it well—and by this I mean all of the ins and outs, and yes, even how and when to bend those supposed “rules” everyone's forever yammering on about—plus the time and effort to create a well-written, well-developed story with engaging scenes and circumstances involving a host of well-rounded, well-fleshed out characters, all coupled with the drive and ability to captivate a readership.

*whew!*

So to hell with “Oh, I must be traditionally published to be a 'real' writer” crap. No. That's a bogus measure of success, and in my humble opinion (as tiny as it is in this hugely enormous world of writing), it's a lame excuse not to move forward on one's own, especially with such easy access to a possible readership.

Unfortunately, however, all-too-many would-be authors have the audacity to believe “easy access, easy work,” which is absolutely not the case. A serious writer—a “real” writer, if you will—totally dedicates himself (or herself!) to the craft and treats his writing like an occupation, money received or not. And he doesn't settle for anything less than the finest turnout of his best work . . . erm, to the finest and best of his (or her!) ability, that is.

My measure of success? I'd love to have an underground readership. Nothing fancy. Just a smallish group of followers. No fame, no fortune, no high recognition. Just readers. They are my ultimate bottom line.

But you know, I gotta tell you a secret . . .

Some years back, I'd submitted a story to an online magazine, whose short story fiction editor recognized my name from the work I'd done in Writer's Beat Quarterly, online magazine for The Writer's Beat writing community. What a small, startling, and gratifying mood-booster that was! A small online press, sure—hell, seriously, what big-name company would ever know a small-time writer's name?—all the same, it was a mini-thrill. To know my name was “out there,” somewhat, already? Yeah. . . .

Well, now for my pen name: Devon Winterson. And that shouldn't be too hard . . . right?


8 comments:

  1. Interesting post! I quite agree. Though I always find if you tell someone you are a writer and they say 'ooh where is your stuff' it is good to have somewhere to direct them, I.e. 'type my name in Google'. I find it easier just to tell people I race llamas ;)

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    1. Lol! I'll have to try that: "Oh, I race llamas. No biggie." Lol! :D

      Thanks for dropping by for a read. I really appreciate it!

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  2. LOL. You crack me up, but I totally understand. I felt the same mini-thrill every time I had a new follower to my NaNo WordPress site, even though most of them were probably bots. Maybe you'll get that big thrill here in a few months!

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    1. Bots are funny to watch, though! Lol. Some fave Blogger bots: villianstat and vampirestat, among others I can't remember. They pop up from time to time. :D

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  3. Here, here. And here... 's to success in whatever form we choose to apply it to ourselves by the end of this year.

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    1. Hear, hear! And here, here! And there, there, too! :D Success to you, too, my wonderful friend. December 13th is approaching quickly!

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  4. Success is whatever we define it to be.

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    1. Well said, William, and again, I quite agree. :)

      And you know, I find I agree with you quite a bit. Lol!

      Thank you for dropping by.

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