Few things irritate me more than those articles about what a “REAL (whatever) DOES”. They especially pluck at me when they dictate what a “REAL WRITER” does. So, what do we do?
A REAL WRITER Writes
Hm. Was that too subtle? I don’t know.
You can take breaks from writing, and still be a real writer.
You can write non-fiction, and still be a real writer.
Your characters could remain silent in your head, and still be a real writer.
You can just sit down and write without a ritual, and still be a real writer.
We write. That’s it. It doesn’t matter what format our pieces take, how much time we take or how often we do it. We write, and we enjoy it. Some of us even make a living from it.
Am I getting my point across here?
I personally practice the craft only four to five days a week, because I have a tendency to burn out if I do it too often. After all, I still need time to read, pursue other interests and do those little every day things we all have to do.
Y’know, like do the laundry that’s still sitting in the hamper or clean the dishes currently developing their own civilization in the kitchen. I’m not saying I haven’t done those things yet, but I haven’t done those things yet.
The lesson to take away from this doesn’t only apply to writers, either. I’ve seen similar posts aimed at creatives of all types, and most of them are just as elitist and annoying as I expect them to be.
So, what is the lesson?
Do what it is that you’re passionate about. There’s useful advice out there, but not all of it will be useful to you. By all means, experiment to see what will work for you, but realize that what may work for someone else won’t for you.
If you practice a craft, you are, at the root of the matter, a practitioner of that craft. It doesn’t matter your skill level, because that will grow with experience. It doesn’t matter how you do it, because the how is completely up to you.
You’re a writer, because you write. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.