What Type Of Writer Do You Want To Be?


I heard something on a Writing Excuses that I’d never thought about. When one of the author’s agents called and told him that they’d been approached about one of his books, the agent said, “If you don’t mind being known as a children’s author we’ll take it.”

When I thought about that it occurred to me that I’d never thought of my writing like that. Sure, I write Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Literary Fiction and Y/A (Young Adult), but I’d never thought about what type of writer I’d want to be known as.

I always wanted my writing to mean something to someone. To have my writing get them through the tough parts of their life the way other writers had done for me.

When we start writing, sometimes at a young age, we don’t think about these things. It’s only when we’re older and have a few stories under our belt we begin to think about this question.

I’ve thought about it recently. I have a one book done, another nearly done. But it’s the book I haven’t written, the one I’ve talked about many times on this blog that keeps gnawing at me.

It comes up in the middle of the night when I’m thinking about nothing at all, the characters, story or other details will jump inside my head and scream at me to write them. Until now I’ve ignored them for one reason or another.

The other night my wife and I watched Midnight in Paris. If you haven’t seen the movie and you’re a writer or artist it’s wonderful. My wife watched it while I was in Chicago with our son for Father’s Day. She told me I had to watch it.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Hemingway and this movie, though over dramatized his drinking and manliness, was amazing. My wife talked about what it would be like to meet Hemingway for me, or for her to meet Salvador Dali, her favorite painter.

We talked about how wonderful it would be, but like Gil in the movie we thought it was better to live now and not think too much about the past.

The past is better left there. Taking steps backward is not what we want to do. As writers we must find things in our environment to discover who we are. It’s only in this discovery we find what type of writer we want to be.

What type of writer do you want to be? Answer in the comments.

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2 Responses to What Type Of Writer Do You Want To Be?

  1. I guess I hadn’t thought of it too hard, but I write YA, so I guess that is the kind of writer I expect to be seen as. I heard an author at a conference say he turned down offers on his book because they wanted him to publish his story as YA and he was NOT going to be a YA author. He continued to search until he found someone who would publish it as literary fiction.
    On some levels I think what he did is nuts. But I also understand that part of the story, as he saw it, would have been compromised if he had given in.

    • I write different genres, mostly Science Fiction and I hadn’t thought about it until I listened to the episode of Writing Excuses. I can understand the authors thoughts on not compromising his story, but yeah that is a little nuts. As artists compromise is not in our nature. We want our story as we see it. Not as someone else sees it, that’s the difficult part of publication. thanks for the comment.

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