In any endeavor, we often view things in the ‘romantic’ sense.
Take playing the saxophone for example,
Sexy, cool and totally badass.
With your sexy playing, you’ll seduce everyone in the audience.
Get used to cleaning up your spit after playing it.
Sexy isn’t it?
Somehow just saying you’re a writer gets a similar reaction. Everyone forgets there’s hard work and stuff to clean up (hopefully, not spit in this case).
There are three self-proclaimed writers, probably among your friends, that fit these ‘extreme’ archetypes.
1. The show-off:
This writer can be equated with the ‘it’ girl in any social group. She/he will always bring up any opportunity that they are a writer, especially whenever there’s a delicious word play. Any failings to spot obvious play on words or lacks certain articulations expected from a writer, the show-off will use her/his most famous line as a defensive shield:
‘I didn’t see that! And I’m a writer!’
Or something like that.
This writer hates constructive criticism. Even if you have your friend’s best interests at heart and genuinely believe they have a diamond in the rough, be careful.
This writer will rally the support of her/his family and friends to get their blog numbers up or any comments in any published material on the net.
For example, you may find his/her mother defending or praising the writer’s views in the comment section.
2. The Free spirit:
Writing has been equated with being a free spirit, meaning stuff like planning and contacting publishers are so…technical and not-free-spirity. Some may view that writing a ‘plan’ hinders the creative process.
This type of writer often has an innocence in his/her demeanor. They believe that their work will be automatically picked up thanks to their creativity but when it comes down to getting an agent/editor/publisher to look at their work, things get complicated.
Free spirits maybe more open to criticism of their story, however, don’t try your luck out when advising them on how to improve their writing methods.
Just as every writer is different, so are their methods. The free spirit is lodged on an ideal that creativity alone will push through all the business-y stuff.
3. The Analyst:
He/she spots the common mistakes and other issues with other pieces of work. This archetype writer believes he/she has avoided these mistakes in creating their debut work or magnum opus. If you point out this person’s mistakes, he/she might have an explanation on why they did this or that in the story.
The analyst also believes in following a religious pathway in publication. Anyone who diverges from this path will not be successful.
All in all, every writer is different just as every sax player is (quick info: each sax player’s mouth is slightly different so they have to practice to find the ‘right’ position for their lips on the mouth piece, how ‘plump’ their lips are, how to use their cheek muscles, etc). And like each sax player, each writer needs to figure out what works for him/her.
This annoyingly takes time, patience, practice and self-reflection.
And take risks in the roads to publication.
Despite all of this, it’s still ‘romantic’ in some sense.