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)