Being A Writer

What makes a writer?

book

I am a sucker for articles and blog posts about being a writer. I’m always curious to read the advice of others, and their take on what it means to be a writer, because, if you follow me, you know I’ve got my own opinions.

As writers, and, as such, artists, I believe that we are prone to constantly wondering about whether our writing is good enough, whether our storytelling is intriguing enough, and whether others will actually read and enjoy our strung-together words. This is especially true when you’re starting out.

When I started writing and devoured everything I could about writing, I remember reading about some famous writer who would get in the groove and forget to eat, drink, or be merry while writing. The individual relating the anecdote said that this was the way to be a writer. Your focus had to be so intense that you forgot everything around you. That happened infrequently to me. Did this mean I couldn’t be a writer?

In the past week, I read a similar declaration. Lose yourself in your writing. This is what makes a writer.

No.

I am now at a place in my writing where I can state that it’s lovely if you’re lost in your writing. Seriously it is. When I write longer pieces, I do sometimes become lost in my writing. When I emerge, it’s like I’m in a state of euphoria. I am coming back to the real world from my mental adventures. But that does not mean you have to be constantly in that state to be a writer.

A writer is someone who writes. Period.

What makes a writer? Reading. Writing. Writing. Writing. Writing. I have to throw reading in because, regardless of what you’ve discovered about the art of writing, I don’t believe that you can do it well unless you read. You read your favorite writers and discover their tricks, their rhythms, what makes them good writers. As an aside, I wonder why anyone would want to be a writer if they haven’t been a voracious reader first. If you have an answer to that one, please do share it with me.

In the article, it suggested that you also don’t edit as you write. Well, I’ve heard that one, especially for getting your first novel draft written. That philosophy does have more than a glimmer of truth when you’re writing something long. The point is to get as many words on paper to achieve your daily goal without going back and fussing over it. There will be time after you’ve written “The End” to do that.

However, when I’m writing a flash fiction piece, I am constantly re-reading and editing as I write while also keeping an eye on word count. I want the piece to be as concise as possible while making an interesting bit of fiction that also hits the word count. I will admit, however, that a lot of the writing has already occurred before I move to my computer. My brains lumbers (yes, lumbers, at least that’s what it frequently feels like) through different scenarios until it finds one it likes, and then it begins storytelling. Without computer. Or paper. Sometimes it feels as if it’s without me.

So, in the end, what makes a writer? You. Writing.

Go write now. Be a writer.

 

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31 thoughts on “Being A Writer

  1. Love this, Sascha! There are times when I get lost in writing, the pace is fast and furious as ideas flow and I don’t want to stop because it’s simply falling into place. But I never feel the need to disappear to “suffer” for my art. For me, that would be deadly and I’d dry up. Write what comes, enjoy the process, let it lift your spirits, then when you feel your done, edit. I love that you think the same way. For me, it is truth incarnate. Enjoy! then the words flow!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this post! I read a blog pist a few weeks ago, and woman who wrote it wanted to be a famous novelist. But- she didn’t enjoy writing and didn’t like to read. She complained about the length of many books. It was one of the strangest things i’ve ever read. And i love getting lost in my writing when it happens, but it doesn’t always. I love it though. Making up characters.. dreaming up plots. One of the best things ever.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OMG. I guess this is like wanting to be a rock star but dont have any musical talent, can’t play an instrument or sing? πŸ™‚ Yikes. I may have to make that into a character.
      I have come to the conclusion that some people think it’s very easy to write a *good* novel. Even if they don’t read. Maybe especially if they don’t read. πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. I am also a sucker for posts on writing πŸ˜€ But that’s not the only reason I am here – I so enjoy reading your stories. Btw that’s another clarification I am looking for – does reading blog posts count as reading (for a writer)? I read a lot of posts and what with a full time job and blog reading i dont have time for book reading. I also do a lot of editing while writing my flash fiction pieces but my longer pieces I just tend to blabber on and then edit it at leisure. I like to ‘see’ my story play out before I can write it. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Dahlia, I love reading your stories too!
      And, yes. I have to say that reading the posts for the different flash fiction posts does count because there just aren’t that many sources for flash fiction. Lots of people responding to the photo prompts, etc or just writing flash fiction on their blogs are turning out some amazing stories of amazing quality. So, yes, in my humble opinion, it most certainly counts as reading! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Writing is an artform and, as such, is a very personal experience. I don’t think anyone can tell anyone else how to express themselves. I have days when it’s a struggle to reach my daily word count goal. I have days when I’m done before I get out of bed. I’ve had days recently when I’m stuck and I have nothing. I’m coming off almost a week of not approaching my word goal. The words aren’t there. Getting lost in writing is the best feeling, though. I’ve had days when I double, triple my word count goal without even thinking about it. That’s the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean. Getting lost in the writing is like going on a most excellent vacation. I think it may even be less stressful than going on a physical vacation. πŸ˜€
      But, yes, on the flipside there are days when it’s hard. When it is work to sit in front the keyboard (or however) and try to churn out words. But that is part of writing..and what makes a writer.

      Like

    • Sorry for the late reply. I got lost in the A to Z challenge.
      I think that’s how it starts for most of us. We get lost in the world of stories and then we want to make our own. After that, there’s no stopping us!

      Like

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