How to know when you’re not a ‘real writer’

Not Entirely Serious

What makes someone a ‘real writer’? There’s little consensus over what the phrase actually means.

So, I’ve trawled the internet (and a few books as well for old times sake) in search of the received wisdom. The gist of it seems to be:

  • If your route to publication is different to my choice, then you are clearly not a real writer.
  • If you write in a genre that I wouldn’t touch with a barge-pole then, I’m sorry, you’re not a real writer.
  • If you’re younger or older than I am, you’re very unlikely to be a real writer.
  • If you employ a style of writing that is significantly different to mine, you’re not a real writer.
  • If your protagonists are of a different gender to my protagonists, then frankly I’m surprised you even have to ask.
  • If the stakes in your story – from will they / won’t they through to “but Flash, we’ve only got 24 hours to save the world” – are at variance to the timbre and pitch of my own stories, then you’re not a real writer.
  • Real writers choose a particular time of day to write. If your choice is different to mine… you guessed it.
  • Some writers plan their books. Others write by the ‘seat of their pants’, allowing inspiration to come along the way. Make the correct choice, or you’ll never be a real writer.
  • Do as I do in all things, but if I haven’t heard of you, you’re still not a real writer.

So now you know. Just follow all the advice given on the internet and you’ll be a real writer in no time.


(Photo: ‘The Passion of Creation’ By Leonid Pasternak [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

2 comments… add one
  • This is just perfect! Saw you at TPV making a comment I would have made, and had to check out your blog.

    I hope you are the right age, and write at the same time of day I do, and are an extreme plotter, and write exactly the same kind of stories I do, because we are otherwise copacetic.

    If you are the wrong gender (and it appears you are, from the name ‘Simon’ – which COULD be a pseudonym), I’ll give you that one.

    I’m almost afraid to see what it is you write.

    Thanks for the morning’s chuckle.


    • Simon Link Reply

      ‘Simon’ is no pseudonym – when I come up with a pen name I shall make is something impossibly exotic. Welcome to the site, by the way, Alicia, and glad you enjoyed the post.

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