“Talking Shop,” or “I’m a writer, too!”

November 29, 2010

I always get really excited when I find out someone writes. The second they let that fact slip, I’m gazing at them, trying to detect a flicker of kinship in their face, vibrating with the possibility that I’ve found another one! Writing, particularly in the early days, is a relatively solitary endeavour. Paradoxically, or perhaps consequentially, it’s also an endeavour with a huge sense of community. I haven’t personally met most of the writers I “know.” Mostly, they’ve been online acquaintances. (Hi, guys!)

So when I meet someone in “real life” who professes to be a writer, I get excited. It’s kind of like when a dog hears footsteps approaching the door at the end of the workday. People! Interaction! End of solitude! Happy!

It’s comforting to know that someone else is dealing or has dealt with the same issues. And it’s nice to have someone who understands about problems with characterization, or how to balance different subplots, or what to do about that bit of foreshadowing that really can’t come any later, but seems a tad obvious where it is.

It’s community. It’s inspiration. It’s our “tribe.”

I wish it worked out this way every time.

Sometimes, the exchange goes something like this:

Person: Yeah, I’m a writer too.

Me: Cool! What do you write?

Person: Well, I haven’t actually written anything. I have an idea for a bestseller, I’m just waiting for inspiration. What about you?

Me: Um, I’ve dabbled in a bunch of things, but I seem to be having the best luck with science fiction and fantasy.

Person: Oh. (Snorts)

Then I feel like this:

One of the first things I learned was “Writers are people who write.” You cannot be a writer if you do not actually write, whether you’re typing, writing by hand, or even dictating. Words have to get onto screen/paper somehow. The “waiting for inspiration” excuse doesn’t cut it. Inspiration is great, and it’s a good idea to try to seek it out (for instance, by talking to other writers…) but you can’t count on the Muse alone. I think of writing as a marathon. Endorphins ebb and flow, your legs get tired, they go numb, you scarf a package of some high-glucose-protein gel once or twice, you curse everything and everyone for putting you in this situation… but you keep going.

One word at a time. One step at a time.

If you watch the marathon on TV, maybe lace up your running shoes but never make it out the door, can you call yourself a runner? No, that’d just be silly. You can say you’d like to run. You can say you’re planning on taking up running. But until you actually lift your foot up and take that first step, you’re not a runner.

It seems to me there’s a difference between wanting to write, and wanting to have a book. This is one of those times when the journey is more important than the destination. Almost all of us want to be published, but I have a hunch that if a magical psychic genie from the future appeared and told you it would never happen, you would write anyway. You would write because it brings you joy.

It’s the shared understanding of that joy that brings us together.





  1. I breathe to stay alive . . . I write to FEEL alive. 🙂

    Great post.

    And I have NEVER once snorted at someone who writes Sci Fi or Fantasy. That would be RUDE. 😉

    • Absolutely true. On every count!

      What I find intriguing in the writing scene is the pretence versus the reality. There is a difference between those who identify themselves as ‘writers’, but don’t actually write or try to publish, and those who write because – and, if you write that way, you’ll get what I am saying – because it’s what they do. Write. Every day. It’s a passion – a drive – an urge. Perhaps not a definition of self, but certainly an expression of it.

      Science fiction and fantasy? Sure – legitimate writing like any other. And often great literature. Think Tolkien.

      Keep it up!


      May 21, 2011

  2. I breathe to stay alive . . . I write to FEEL alive.

    Great post!

    BTW: People who snorting at the writing endeavors of others are RUDE. 😉

    • Thank you!

      Alas, I know one “writer” (who, so far as I know, has not actually written anything…) who tends to be rather derisive. I try not to engage with this person… why bother when there are so many wonderful, supportive people out there (like you!)?

  3. I had never met any other writers until I went to a local conference last year. It opened up a whole new world to me! Because writing is such a solitary activity, you’ve got to be a part of a writer’s community to keep going.

  4. I’ve noticed “cheers” is the cool thing to say among those who consider themselves writers. How long has this been going on? I am way behind.

    • I thought that’s an Aussie thing. Mate! 🙂

  5. Wow — so true. And it makes me a little sad that writing is such a “solitary endeavor,” as you noted. I can’t tell you how often I have felt totally disconnected from the world while practicing my craft.

    This is one of the reasons I started my blog: connection! And I can’t tell you how grateful I am for it now. I recently learned that my ex and his new wife are suing me in an effort to stop my blog, and the outpouring of support I’ve received from fellow writers has been PRICELESS!

    We need to connect more often. And I’m grateful for your post and the reminder.


  6. When I write blog articles, can I call myself a “writer”? I have to admit, I don’t feel I classify for it.


    • Citizen journalism

    • My gut feeling is that you’re writing *something,* so yes. It’s just another kind of writing.

  7. Enjoyed your post. That person may have made you feel like that particular dog, but let me say that pup looked quite a bit like a dog I had for 15 years. She was beautiful. WHen she gave me that look I could not help but tell her she was the most wonderful pup! So Arvik, I’m telling you that you are the most wonderful writer. I enjoy my sci-fi books and after I finish the Honorverse one I am 1/4 through, I will pick up my new Kris Longknife book and enjoy that one, too!

  8. I completely agree with you. You can’t be a writer if you have never really written or tried to write…put the words on paper. Same thing with being a runner. I always considered myself a runner, but I never really ran. Then I started to actually run. Before I knew it I was finishing my first half marathon…if you want to do something then do it…and I mean actually do it.


  9. I can call myself a writer, but I feel quite shy about exposing myself publicly. It’s a protection mechanism to avoid these types of uncomfortable situations 😀

  10. When you write erotic romance like I do, it adds a new level of solitude to the experience of writing. The conversation goes something like this:

    Aquaintance/relative: Still writing?

    Me: Yes.

    A/R: What are you working on?

    Me: Erotic romance.

    A/R: Been published?

    Me: Yes.

    A/R: What’s it called? What name do you write under?

    Me: I’m not going to tell you.

    For most of my writing life, I’ve been in a critique group, but once I started writing erotic romance, I dropped out because there was NO WAY I could read what I wrote to the group.

    • hahahah. You are one brave soul. 🙂 Good on ya.

      • Dear Cara,
        I write adult humor songs.
        My mother (over 70) will never listen to them. My band-mates in my ‘money’ gig give me free, unsolicited verbal manure about them, since they are above that kind of thing.
        I’ve been confronted by the checkout person at a local Family Dollar store over a YouTube video I made.
        It takes a brave sort to write the stuff people like privately, but damn publicly. Praise is seldom unqualified. Folks question your morals. Holy water hits you from all angles, just to watch your skin smoke…okay. I made that one up, but it’s not far off the mark, with some people.
        So–why in the world do we do it?
        Because we can, because we’re good at it, and because we must. (Of course, your mileage may vary.)
        You go, girl, and please remember; you are not alone.


  11. I’m lucky enough to work in a literary development agency (it’s a charity! I love the third sector), so I get to meet lots of writers at various stages in their careers, from first time workshop attendees through to hoary old veterans. It’s real nice: there are so few jackass writers. And generally, the better a writer they are, the nicer they are.

  12. Arvik, having a blog is a great step in a writer’s journey. We’re lucky to have this option; imagine the suffering souls who had to keep their stories to themselves in the days before the Internet.
    A friend encouraged me to join her writers’ group and it turned out to be a great decision. I love meeting other writers and knowing I’m going to have to “up” my game to match their talent. I no longer feel alone in my writing endeavors and, thanks to the good words I’ve received from members of the group, I started my own fiction blog.
    Have you looked into a writers’ group in your area or thought about starting one?


  13. What a fantastic post. Jessica Page Morrell said ‘write because you have words in your blood’ and I love that. It’s as vital to me as my blood, even though radiation has temporarily made the creative side hibernate. And by the way, those who snort at any particular genre are just snobs. The types who want to be seen writing rather than actually writing. I for one have a great deal of respect for sf/fantasy writers as I find that genre so difficult to write. It’s like poetry. I admire from afar. And finally, nothing compares to that shaft of happiness I get when I find another writer; another soul sister or soul brother.

    • I completely get what you mean… I always think of an exchange from the movie “The Red Shoes.”

      Impresario: Do you want to dance?
      Dancer: Yes.
      Impresario: Why?
      Dancer: Why do you want to live?

  14. So darn true! Love the post! 🙂

  15. I love this post and appreciate the call to action. I blog from Haiti, and though it’s a place often in the news, it’s one that can feel isolating to a writer. I’m pleased to be a member of your “Tribe!”

  16. Great post really hones in on the community of writters. Twitter is such a great place to find and feel that writership comradery. I wish I had taken the Twitterverse plunge when I first started writing. I agree you cannot be a writer unless you actually write. There are plenty of folks out there who dream of a book deal or have a fantastic idea, but it never gets put on paper. The act of taking that idea, struggling, editing, rewriting, is what us writers! Thanks!

    • I joined twitter to find that writing comradarie but can’t figure out how to harness it. Any advice?

  17. Hey! I’m a writer, too. 🙂

    I’m new to blogging, but have been active in the local writing community (off and on) for the last several years. When I logged in to do some maintenance on my blog, I saw your subject line and had followed it here.

    Love the post, and I completely understand your frustration with the “arm chair novelist” out there. 🙂

    You have the right idea – cultivate your relationships with those fellow writers who share your enthusiasm, and don’t waste time with the wannabes or snobs. Writing doesn’t have to be the solitary endeavor that it once was. Writing groups, whether physical or digital, are great places to share your art. There are also some fantastic podcasts, websites and forums out there to fill the void.

    Stick with it and enjoy it. Take joy in your art, whether it be for recreation or business.

    (sigh) Now I’m going to have to see what other nuggets of wisdom you’ve written here. Just what I need, yet another site to read. 🙂

  18. […] SciFi/Fantasy writer has some thoughts on the writing marathon and community of writers. Perhaps that’s the real secret – to […]

  19. I totally agree with you here.It doesn’t really matter what you write, as long as you do.
    I think that everyone has a writer in them some where just waiting to come out.

    I write when I get sad or lonely, something always comes out right.:)

    Anyways..great post.

  20. You are so right about how and when to call yourself a writer. I’m afraid I fall in the paralysis-by-analysis category. It’s torture for me to write, because I’m an endless drafter (anal retentive perfectionist – devastating combo), but when I finally eke something out (an article for work, an email correspondence) I feel such a sense of fulfillment… Thanks for the words of wisdom and inspiration !

  21. Good post man. When you meet great writers you do feel part of a unique community. Keep up the good work.

  22. It’s true. I don’t believe you choose to write, I think it chooses you. And if you really want to make someone snort with derision, tell ’em you write chick-lit. That’d do it! 🙂

    • Great comment. 🙂

      I do believe writing chose me. I am into personal narrative, essay kind of thing. Chick lit doesn’t rock my world.

  23. I have struggled to call myself a writer because of some mental block that says, how can you be a writer if nobody reads what you write? Then I shared my writing, but I still said, how can you be a writer if you are not paid for what your write? Then I got paid (a little) and came up with another excuse . . . What was I afraid of? Why couldn’t I label myself as a writer? Maybe because I didn’t know anyone who was a writer. But here is my new reality, I am a writer. I may never get the book published. I may never get the big payoff. But every day I put words to the page because of the joy it brings me. Thanks for pointing out that I am a writer, because I do the most important thing to be one. I write.

  24. Lovely post. It’s true that you can’t call yourself a writer until you’re actually making an effort. For years I’ve been on the fence between wanting to write, but being afraid — afraid of the work involved, afraid of others’ judgments, and afraid of what would come out if I let myself go. I’ve decided to go for it, though, and am halfway through a book now. It’s as you described…like a marathon. One foot in front of the other, one word after another. And it’s nice to know there are other writers who understand, because it can be a lonely art.

  25. One of the first things I learned was “Writers are people who write.” You cannot be a writer if you do not actually write.

    LOL there ya go the secret revealed!

  26. I completely agree with you, regarding “waiting for inspiration.” Let’s face it, if we always waited for inspiration before doing the task at hand, we’d all be out of jobs. 🙂 Writing is a skill, a hobby, a craft, a profession–whatever it is to you, it’s nothing if you aren’t putting words down. Writing is a verb; therefore, you have to complete the action before you can be considered a “writer.” Great post. 🙂

  27. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed – get ready for a wild ride!
    Feel the same way when I talk about my fantasy work, guess I’ll be the one laughing when one day the royalties start rolling in! Until then, keep it up, can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    • Thank you so much! That means a lot to me… especially since you were the one to first begin pointing readers this way.

      You rock! 😉

  28. Excellent post! “Waiting” for inspiration is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. You have to make inspiration happen. Read something! Write paragraphs of crap that at least get you to where you want to be. Cheers

  29. OK, so, I CAN say I’m a writer. I’m a former daily newspaper reporter, current corporate communications writer for a company, maintain a blog, and write for various magazines (finishing an article this Friday). I WISH I could say I was an author, though! Aspiring, but not there yet. 😉 Nice to meet you, fellow writer! Congrats on being a featured WordPress blog. Nice post!


  30. You are so right. Calling yourself a writer but not actually writing doesn’t work.
    Writers write because they love it and can’t live with out it.
    Write On!

  31. Love the post! I share your sentiments. I’ve always written, but I’ve found that actually defining myself as a writer has caused me to embrace the writer’s life more and get more things written. Hooray for writers!

  32. “Hi, I’m a skydiver. I’ve never actually jumped out of a plane, but I really want to. I just haven’t done it yet.”

    Who the heck says she’s a writer but doesn’t write?

    I think your snorter feels lame and threatened in the presence of an honest-to-goodness writer-who-writes.

  33. Send that person in the direction of China Meiville. He writes ‘sci-fi’ and he’s significantly more accomplished than 90% of the ‘literary’ novelists writing today.

    Great article.

  34. He he. Your post really made me laugh!

  35. I recently “came out” as a writer too! Up untill this past summer, I was one of those people who had all the stories in my head, but never actually wrote them on paper. Then, once I began to actually write (and boy did that feel good!)it took me a while to work up the courage to tell anyone about it and share the things I had written. Starting a blog has helped me look at myself as a writer and get over my fear of having people read what I write.
    Happy NaNoWriMo!

  36. I’m a writer too so it’s nice to “meet” you… I write pretty much non-stop. I’ve been a journalist for three years and also maintain a new blog. I say there is nothing as comforting in the whole world as a pen in my hand and a notebook in my lap (or these days, a keyboard and a computer screen). Thanks for the post!!!

  37. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I write because I MUST! I just love to! Whatever happens after the written word is down, oh well!
    You must go for it if it is your “Love”!


  38. Congrats on the freshly pressed! I write fantasy too so I understand exactly what you mean when people dismiss your efforts. Glad I found your site. Keep it up!

  39. All the snarkiness about “genre fiction” confuses me. Have these people never heard of Charles Yu? How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: A Novel has got to be one of the best books of 2010; maybe the best. (Sorry, Franzen fans.) Or Vernor Vinge? Or even, sometimes, Michael-frigging-Chabon? (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is science fiction, and calling it “speculative fiction” is elitist and rude.)

    So, while I don’t often write science fiction, if I meet you on the street and you tell me your a writer, I promise not to make you feel like any kind of a dog at all. Just like a comrade-at-arms.

  40. Great writing I have to say at first! That was one sad post. You say that a writer is someone who write. But you can be a writer on a personal basis. I love to write, and call myself a “writer” when i do so at home. However, a writer is a person who have been published.
    To be so you can’t wait on the inspiration, you have to look for it yourself. Neither easy nor funny. But when you find it, everything will arrive with the next train…

  41. Oh my stars! I constantly write about writing being like a marathon… that it’s the small training sessions (the short runs, the endurance building) that will help you write a real-live, bonafide story. For me, the story is the marathon, journalling and other little things I do are the training runs.

  42. I’m a writer! Hi! Great post, I really enjoyed reading it. Also, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment about those who are waiting for the muse to hit them on the fanny. If you want to write, write. You can’t wait around, waiting for inspiration. Writers write because it completes them. When you love it, it’s hard to stay away from it. It’s not work, it’s pleasure.

    Also, I write horror. I get some weird glances when I tell people that.

  43. This is so true. It makes me laugh when people are like, “I’m a writer!” and they don’t know what an apostraphe is. And then complain about not getting a break.

    Cute dog by the way 🙂

  44. Good post! I’ve recently started writing in a blog, but I hardly think that qualifies me as a writer:)

    I will agree with several others here who think it’s quite rude to be so negative about other people’s sincere efforts!

    On another note, since I’m new to the blogging arena, where can I join a “tribe” of writers so I may connect with them and glean some wisdom?

  45. I write because I can’t NOT write.


  46. I write because I can’t NOT write.


  47. […] November 29, 2010 “Talking Shop,” or “I’m a writer, too!” (via Intergalactic Writers Inc.) Posted by Marc Schuster under Uncategorized Leave a Comment  I always get really excited when I find out someone writes. The second they let that fact slip, I'm gazing at them, trying to detect a flicker of kinship in their face, vibrating with the possibility that I've found another one! Writing, particularly in the early days, is a relatively solitary endeavour. Paradoxically, or perhaps consequentially, it's also an endeavour with a huge sense of community. I haven't personally met most of the writers I … Read More […]

  48. Ah, I love this! I’ve heard it said that many people want to have written, not to write. Gotta admit that waiting for inspiration seems like a waste of valuable writing time. Just write, even if it is crap, just write!

  49. Everyone thinks they’re a writer, no? I’m lucky enough to have it as my job description.

  50. YES! I remember going to my first writer’s workshop and coming home and telling my husband that I’d finally found other people like me! (I told him I’d had an ‘apostrophe’ — ala “Hook”)

    If you haven’t — read Stephen King’s memoir, “On Writing”. The last half of the book is about the actual ‘practice’ of writing… each day, one word at a time, just close the door and do it! I love your marathon analogy.

    Congrats on making Freshly Pressed!

  51. AND that genie might be wrong. 🙂

    I’m actually in the process of accepting defeat of NaNoWriMo because I only got about 20000 words this months. Sigh…

    NEXT YEAR! 🙂

    • I didn’t even get that, I got 700 words and the whole thing just ground to a sudden and somewhat painful halt.
      Hopefully next year will be more productive ><

  52. What a great reminder. Thank you for allowing me to be part of The Tribe! Your words really hit home.

  53. Great post- thanks for writing it- I agree- and as I’m currently in the part of the writing marathon where I want to sit down and eat a twinkie, this was what I needed to chug along! 🙂

  54. Inspiration takes work, like anything life gives you.
    I generally find the inspiration part is solved for me, but must then make time for what follows. I used to dam it up or lock it away. That does not pay off! I try to write a little bit in my diary every morning, or, if not, I take it to the screen, like here.
    Also, in my view, the only differences to be found between various genres is thematic, and those lines are blurry.
    This was a fun read with some serious ideas brought up.

  55. Excellent post! I am also annoyed by the “I’m a writer but I’m not writing anything” stance.

    My husband and I ran a critique group for a couple of years ago and one requirement was that you needed to have at least one piece written and ready for the group before you joined. That really weeded out the “I want to write” crowd from the “I am writing” crowd!

  56. To be honest, I completely agree with you.
    I’ve written several stories, and started a few but not really finished them.. do I count?

    • As long as you’re writing something, anything… you count. Welcome aboard! 🙂

  57. Hey I’m a writer too. In my eyes anyone who writes poetry,music,novels,short-stories,blogs or articles is a writer. I have heard of writers who had no background in any writing programs yet they have a best seller on bookshelves. I blog for fun and it’s really a good outlet when I need to rant a little about daily life. I try to keep the rants to a minimum but sometimes I have to just let loose. 😉

    I think you are onto something with the Sci-Fi. There is a market for it. I would say maybe look into a local course that can give you more info on selling the idea. Also read “the resilient writer”. There are some interesting stories in that book about famous writers and how they started their novels.
    I would recommend hanging out with like minded people because sometimes the people you surround yourself with can inspire an idea. Congrats on getting freshly pressed.


  58. Heh, I know the feeling, most of my friends think writing fiction in general is a joke and fantasy/sci-fi is just worthless. I’m glad I’ve got a writers group, helps keep me going when I want to just give up and walk away. Sometimes when I sit down and write it’s just so that I’ll have something to read at the next group meeting, other times it’s because I can’t help myself.


  59. I agree!

  60. As a fellow writer (seriously; and a fantasy writer at that), I loved this post. LOVED it. The marathon metaphor? Right on. And I am so happy you pointed out the difference between “wanting to write and wanting to have a book!”

    Congrats on being selected for Freshly Pressed. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  61. This is such a nice post. My life is so much better since I’ve accepted that I need to write to be me. Reading the work of other writers makes me happy. Sharing writing makes me happy. Writing may be a very solitary journey but there are ways to share–especially among fellow writers. 🙂

    I love the dog pictures to explain your stance on this. so cute.

  62. Agree. Science fiction and fantasy have never been my thing, but they are very popular and lucrative–definitely nothing to snort at!

  63. Totally agree. Keep up the writing and reminding me and others that we must keep writing to keep our writer’s hat.

  64. I write sci-fi/fantasy too! A lot of my friends enjoy the genre too so although I’m a little alone in the writing of it, at least they all read similar stuff 🙂

    I’ve just finished my first full-length novel and I’m busy stripping it back and re-editing before I try to get it published. I’m running a creative writing/critique group too and it’s so helpful to hear the suggestions of other people even if they aren’t into the same genre because quite often they’ll notice something that I’ve totally bypassed.

    Don’t worry about the people who think your genre isn’t as good as theirs, at least you’re writing instead of ‘waiting for inspiration’ xD

  65. Bravo man, an absolutely ace post!

    I sometimes call myself a writer too … but then I remember that you are NOT a writer until somebody publishes you … and I sigh … and then call myself a journalist-working-on-a-novel-a-script-and-a-childrens-book-that-is-nearly-done-too (and I do it in one breath), have a glass of wine, and feel fabulous about myself.

    In the end it’s only labels, and the way I see it, if you can’t make it through three to five days without scribing something somewhere, well that fact alone makes you a writer. Or something of the sort.

    Also you are now in my Reader feed. x

  66. Arvik, I’m happy to say that I knew about your blog before it was famous hahahaha!

    • Oh man, Michael, my head’s been exploding all day. I’m so glad I’ve had people like you from the start!

  67. Absolutely wonderful post. I have been blessed (in all senses of the word) with a writers circle, whose friendiness and excellent support has made my writing life complete. I try to write every day, I create a writing prompt for our web site every Saturday and have enrolled local and virtual members to our foundation. All because I feel the more the merrier.
    I invite you & all your followers to take a look at the site (its only $20CDN for a year membership).
    Keep writing, keep creating, keep enjoying.

  68. I don’t classify myself a writer at all and laugh at my gramatically incorrect sentences and made up words but really do admire true writers and secretly wish I could write like them. I just like to write to let off a little steam and stress.

  69. Your post is a nice kick-in-the-but to get writing regardless of the outcome…

    • Your post is a nice kick-in-the-butt to get writing–regardless of the outcome.

  70. Like Mark Twain, I’m a compulsive writer. Like him, I write to process life. For years most of my writing was relegated to correspondence with friends. I didn’t realize that many famous writers had been prolific letter writers too. There’s something of a madness, I think for some of us.

    I’ve been blog writing for about 2 years and am on my 4th blog. I have participated in NaNoWriMo and have been a part of 2 writers meet ups…but unfortunately, I’ve never met with them beyond the month of November. It’s quite sad really. I wish I could find a regular writer’s circle.

    I got up to 28,000 words this year before my writing took a nosedive. This is my second year to attempt it, and second failure to finish. But that’s okay by me. I plan to finish them eventually.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed.


  71. Well said, my friend, well said. Although I would judge writers who don’t write, I think they have a huge block that they have to get through to start, so that is what is standing in their way. I knew I had a block about a year ago, and i guess i didn’t call myself a writer then, but I sort of still was. Maybe we need a different term for those people like, I’m a pre-writer, or pro-writer, like a prospective writer. Someone who wants to write but can’t. I don’t know. Great post! 🙂

  72. *wouldn’t


  73. Perfectly said. \^^/

    I know there are times when I just CANT write… but the times when I can and don’t want to… This post is a perfect call to get going anyways!

  74. Hi! I just found your blog. Excellent post! Writing is indeed solitary. How many of us have unfortunate spouses/mothers/children who smile even when they don’t really understand our obsession with sub-plots/character development/active voice (all of the above)? Essential to find like-minded souls and spare them all! I just started blogging for that purpose!

    I find it odd that you know people who call themselves writers but don’t write– I feel the opposite way personally– I hesitate to call myself a writer until my ms is published!

    And I write fantasy. IMHO it’s just as difficult to create your own world as it is to recreate the one in front of you.


  75. Saying you’re a writer should never be met with snorts of derision. I do fantasy too though, so I know how it goes.

  76. I LOVE your post! I’ve written a novel (sci-fi, fantasy…imagine that), and now I’m editing and trying to find a publisher. Go to my blog: http://www.tiallarising.wordpress.com – it has lots of posts on my novel. 🙂 Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  77. love love love it! Favorite? “You would write because it brings you joy.” Amen, and thank you for reminding us all what brings us back to our little community = connecting. 🙂

    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed as well.

  78. Every writer I know who makes money writing, wants the money so they can keep writing. After 45 published books, I still believe the hardest thing about being a writer is writing. But it’s also the most fulfilling.
    I say this after getting an email today from my agent that she’s halfway through the manuscript I just spent a year writing and she’ll call tomorrow to discuss. Even after 20 years, it never changes.
    When I was an instructor at Fort Bragg for Special Forces there were people who wanted to wear a Green Beret and those who wanted to BE a Green Beret. Big difference between the two.
    The one common trait I see in all the published authors I know is that they work hard. Damn hard. We love it, so we work hard at it.

  79. […] the original here: “Talking Shop,” or “I’m a writer, too!” Posted on 2010 年 11 月 29 日 by lanshang1460. This entry was posted in 未分类 and tagged […]

  80. You are correct about saying we would write even knowing we would never be published. I took a long break from really writing anything, but once I started again, I wondered why I stopped. The act of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is too fulfilling in and of itself!

  81. I don’t know if you would call me a real writer. I mostly just blog, and do personal journaling (THAT goes into my dresser drawer!). Writing helps me to stay in touch with myself. It makes me feel like my head is on straight. I prefer to do non-fiction writing, but I wish I could tell people I do sci-fi/fantasy writing because it sounds much more interesting! It takes real imagination to get into that genre.

    As for the person who snorted at you, well I would classify him as “blocked” or “too scared to write” or “too fearful of failure to write”, take your pick. I know someone who is just like that. Criticizing others is a way for those people to take out their frustrations. I just nod my head pleasantly when they discuss the novel they are “thinking about” starting and then change the subject.

  82. To use your analogy, I am the guy that laces up, runs out the door, gets to the end of the block and turns around to head home to watch tv. For some reason, self doubt I guess, I get into the project then I just give up thinking it is no good.

    Great article though, simple, yet it really speaks to me and may help give me inspiration to finish another short story.

  83. Oh man! I totally relate to this post. I AM a writer – unpublished, but a writer nonetheless. I also am a runner, and love the comparison to marathons. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, and let me know if you need a critique buddy or just another writer friend. 🙂

  84. Well, I’m a writer too!!!! Not a professional one, but I love writing, it makes me feel great. I’m spanish, but here’s my link, in case you want to meet another writer and have “international writers” friends 🙂

  85. http:www.miartexpress.wordpress.com

  86. It’s like playing the mandolin. If the thing stays in the closet it doesn’t count, and there is no music.

    Dr. B, author, “The Mandolin Case”

  87. Writers are often depicted as strange mole-like people who are incapable of social interaction. I like being compared to a friendly dog a lot more. I approve!!!

  88. Wow, how refreshing! And thanks for this post. Not only is it brutally honest but I was smiling all the way through. As lonely as writing can get I would NEVER give up what I love to do.

    And I have to agree that I wish there were actually more writers out there. I have yet to meet a person who actually writes. I can see myself now if I was to meet someone that loves to write face to face!

  89. Cheers mate, love the post. I’ve recently gone from one side of the fence to the other. As a result, I can’t agree enough.

    • hmm.. just saw the other guys post about saying cheers. Need to change it…

      Mazel tov 🙂

  90. I write because there is nothing else I can do. I believe someone important said something to the same effect as well, I am forgetting who.

  91. Wow! Great post. :O Keep up the good work! I totally agree. I hate running into people who say,”Yeah, I have a great story idea.” And then don’t write anything down at all. :/

  92. Great post. I consider myself a writer, though on a basic level writing is not exactly my thing.

    I’m writing a story for a visual novel I’m creating; visual novels (VNs) are a genre of game popular in Japan. I’m writing because I love game creation, want to see the project’s completion, as well as well as a love for anime artwork, and most importantly the story has an emotional impact on me.


  93. Wow what a powerful piece. I have always wanted to write a book but never knew what to write about. That is until I got into recovery….then relapsed…then got sober again. Seems like as good a place to start as any. I look forward to reading more of your work. I have just recently started my own blog and will definitely put a link to your site on it.



  94. Wow. I totally agree. I having been trying to find other writers that think along the same lines as me, so I am glad I found this post. I only know one writer around where I live, so its pretty hard to share when no one gets it.

  95. I have the utmost respect and admiration for those few ‘true’ writers I have known in my lifetime. I too feel enthusiasm upon meeting these proverbial diamonds in the rough… and I’m now very happy to be acquainted with your blog 🙂

  96. Since, I Joined blogging in word press, I have been looking for post that I could relate to, and this is exactly what I relate to, and it feels, beyond happiness, feels great, to be so far but still in the same kinds of thoughts, same views, and same passion for writing, As you, I am also deeply in love with this art of writing, and continuing writing whether good or bad(according to other people) since I realized that words are everything, they are so lovable in the sense that they are always with me, with you, with us, writers!
    About inspiration, I think, inspiration always comes from the writer’s heart and soul. Until someone who desires to write, inspires himself/herself, the outer world inspiration is just added up encouragement. When somebody asks me who inspired you to write, I always say, me myself and my life!
    As you said its always great to get inspiration from outer world, but the purest & deepest form of inspiration, is always inside ourselves.
    Want to write so many things, about your post and praise it, as words just elongates, when I am into writing something that really interests me, But I will make it short and wish you gook luck for your writing future!!

  97. Wonderful post! I’m a writer myself–my whole WordPress is dedicated to all the ideas bouncing around my head! I feel the same way when I discover someone’s a writer. When they ask me what I like to write, I tell them fantasy. Then, they make me feel like that dog.

  98. Wonderful post. I agree with the assumption that you have to write to be a writer. As for the one(s) who snort(s)? No one has the right to do that, regardless of if they write or not. I think it may be jealousy because you’re doing what they want to, but have not yet done.

    P.S. Love the dog pics you used to express your reactions in the piece 🙂

  99. i’m a writer also as well too and I’m very awfully glad and happy simaltaneously while at the same time happy that thre are others like me out there to support one another together for a good cause and also too to give encouragement to each other too as well. Well I remember when I was a fledgling beginning writer just starting out in the beginning I sure could have use and benefitted from the support that this kind of type of forum could have extended to me…thank you.

  100. I enjoyed this post and it’s so true. My experience has been that when I say that I’m a writer, everyone around me says to be a writer, but they have not written anything. I have met other writers though who write for the fun of writing without the aspiration of publishing anything, which is something that is weird to me. It’s like meeting a great cook who doesn’t want to share their food. “shrugs”

    • Actually, I can kind of understand that… you know, the joy of creation without worrying about soul-wrenching rejection. To each their own, I guess (though I am aspiring for publication. :P)
      Thanks for stopping by!

      • what’s wrong with “soul wrenching rejection?” How else are we supposed to learn how to use soul wrenches? I like to use a “crescent moon wrench” to loosen up moonbeams to build my scaffold to the stars…

        You don’t want to know what I use “soul socket wrenches” for….

  101. I liked the post. You have right. One has to take the first step… and the other steps that follow too.
    Life is hard, writing is just a little bit easier.

  102. ya, Everyone can be a writer once he takes the writing to heart.

  103. Joy to you!

  104. Cool post!
    I’m a writer too! So is my friend. (we share our blog) She writes more of the reality teen romance type. I write the sci-fi romace type. I like adding a little adventure and excitement to my stories.

  105. I love how the dog helps to illustrates the point! I know that face both on myself and on my bulldog (when she gets bad dogged, which is rare). I’ll have you know that for the first time I recently experimented with ‘fantasy’ and found it liberating, if not intimidating. When characters are unlimited they suprise you, don’t they? Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, too! XOXO

  106. This was a wonderful post, Arvik. But it was also the comments which opened my eyes. I’ve worked on my own for most of my life, and I began to think that the solitary creative life was normal, like a single goldfish in a bowl who thinks he’s living “the life.” Only recently I realized I was missing something and your comment people put their finger on it: a community of like-minded people. Thanks for the reminder, folks.

  107. A good motivation who are still hesitant to write. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  108. People called me a writer long before I did myself. I remember being introduced to a colleague’s wife as a writer. It made me feel like a sham. It was only when a kind heart decided to buy one of my books that I finally felt ready to call myself a writer. A very unsucessful writer: But a writer nonetheless.There’s a lot of us, you know.

  109. It is great to meet other writers. I can understand both sides…writing is definitely a long process, many writers work for many years before they actually complete their work….I always said I was a writer, but now I actually feel like one. My first novel was just released less than two weeks ago and I have had an extremely positive response, which inspires me to finish my second novel, which is about a third complete.
    Happy writing…

  110. Fantastic post! It is writing that keeps me sane and ticking over when everything else has gone awry – even if I have to sit and just vent my frustration in words. And whilst that poor dog does instill a vast amount of pity in my heart, just remember that it’s nothing but snobbery fueling the ever-deflating snort!

    Thank you for posting, you write brilliantly!

  111. Great post…
    I definitely hesitate to call myself a writer, even though I write every day. Maybe that’s because my children never really give me the space I need to write for more than 5 mins. But at least I am getting those precious 5 mins! Thanks for making me smile. Sarah (UK)

  112. Too many comments to check quickly, so has anyone said, “Some write to live. I live to write”? 😀

    That’s me. Assimilated to this bilingual English-Hebrew keyboard and attached laptop. Writing for free and for profit, non-fiction and fiction. Collaborating with another author to finish one fantasy/SF novel, squeezing in work on one of my own every chance I get.

    I am Lectorus of Borg. 😀

  113. I write because I need to, as much as I need air to breathe. I love the silent AM and that’s when I could write for hours.

  114. My local writers’ group has been bantering recently about related issues, and, like you, I believe that in order to be a writer, we have to write and write often! On that note, my New Year’s Resolution for 2011 is to write a certain number of words every week (any suggestions on how many?) Hemmingway, Dave Barry and other successful writers did this as if writers must “exercise” regularly to stay “in shape.”

  115. I got the same idea with u like that. Im a writer now even only on my own blog. Im a editor, a reader and even a enjoyer too. Is it funny, I dont think so.

    Thank u Avik, ur writing here can “read” as my mind thinking when I am have starting to write my series of writing it call “Peaceful in Mind”. Now, it’s reach # 34.

    Im not sure that my English writing make u understand, but I want to leave my comment.

    Thanks again.

  116. I will never stop writing. People often ask when I will retire, but I say it’s none of their business. Writing defines who I am __ Nuvika

  117. Congratulations on being freshly pressed…those sharp pleats look good on you!

  118. Great post! I have joined many writing communities, but there is only one that I truly feel “at home” on. What keeps me going are my fans. I may get 100 negative comments on a story, but just that ONE positive comment is encouragement enough to keep going. And you are right, I would write (and actually do!) regardless of whether or not I ever got a book deal.

    One thing I have noticed about some writers though. Some seem to think that if you are not “getting paid” or actually have a book deal then you cannot consider yourself a “writer.” I find that rather amusing. I’ve written 3 books in my life, countless short stories, and am currently working on a trilogy plus a manual on creative writing. I may not be getting rich, but I’ve contributed a lot to the literary world. I’ll take my creativity over being forced to write drivel for a living any day. But I certainly won’t call mercenary writers “fakes” just because they are not a bleeding heart artist. I’d like to think that other writers would pay such common courtesy to each other as well.

  119. Well, I suppose “being a writer” is a definition that we all have a different approach to. In my book (no pun intended) a writer is someone who professionally writes…i.e. does that as a main form of work and that’s how they earn their income.

  120. […] lucky (and talented) blogger wrote about the writing community yesterday in “Talking Shop,” or “I’m a writer, too!” and became Freshly Pressed. She was overwhelmed by the positive responses that appeared in her […]

  121. I think there’s no writer label I think it’s something you just know!!! If you enjoy writing and write something from time to time, then You are a writer! a writer can be an amateur or a professional – both are still writers!! That’s my opinion at least. http://tellittomyheart.wordpress.com/

  122. I love this post. Yes, the primary thing is ‘just write away!’.


  123. Writing is so lonely some times…it is good to “meet” other people who truly are writers…not “gonna be” writers. I too, get that small glimmer of hope when someone says he/she is a writer…that small “maybe? maybe you will understand me and I will feel a connection” and then when it is followed with the “someday” I actually feel more deflated than if I am rejected by a potential date…

  124. […] After I became a full-time employee, I finish a 600-pages novel for one and half month! It implied me that it is not good for my coming ’A’ level year! If I read often and read in less frequency, I would be a slow writer and also a slow thinker! Oh my god. I have enough of blaming myself for my poor performance in the writing. Oh yes, I saw an interesting title at someone’s blog – “Talking-shop or im a writer too” See the url […]

  125. I too, am a fellow writer who actually does write. It is how I make my full-time living.

    I am, however, probably one of the only writers I know that does not want to write a book. My writing passions lie in other areas. I leave the book writers to write the books. I need them at night before I sleep to take my mind off my work.

  126. By the same token, many people call themselves teachers without ever actually TEACHING anyone anything…

  127. Hey I’m a writer too but a very lonely one as unless you’re freshly pressed…no one but no one comes by to say a hi.

  128. I don’t know, that genie would give me something to think about…;)
    But in reality, writing (or any type of content creation or production/creative act/making something/doing art or science/whatever you want to call it) is the only cure for the apathetic depression that comes onto me from sole content consumption(for me, that means Internet). I think that’s why most people say they write when they don’t: they wish they did (of course) and probably could; they just feel ashamed of not actually having done anything yet.

  129. Writing is my passion, but I have trouble with publisher, they always reject my draft :(( Nice posties indeed

  130. […] Be Or Not To Be An Author Posted on December 1, 2010 by bloggitivity Reading this blog entry the other day (thanks to the Freshly Pressed front page) got me thinking, once again, what […]

  131. Love the post, so true. Most of the time I write alone, but there are a few people that I can actually write with and bounce ideas off to see what they think and adjust the idea so more people will enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

  132. Editorial composition and Research…

    I found your entry interesting and I have added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  133. […] IntergalacticWritersInc.  Blogroll […]

  134. Thank you for writing this and publishing it. It’s my fortune that it made it onto Freshly Pressed. It’s the logic and the boost that I needed to start writing again on my own blog. Right now, I’m really just writing for myself… not for anyone else, but for some reason, even with this knowledge, I’ve been scared to push forward. I think it’s because I was hung up on what a writer is, and who qualifies. Who gives a damn? A writer is one who writes. And I write because my soul needs it. So there. (Not sure who I was trying to convince with that last line. Mostly myself, probably.)

    Thank you for helping me realize this. I like to think it’s just one step toward a future as a ‘real writer’. You know… one with business cards. That say, ‘Writer’. Because business cards… now THAT makes it real.


  135. Christopher Hampton: My Egyptian paradise…

    We found your article interesting and added a Trackback to it on the Cairo Informer :)…

  136. I don’t call myself a writer, but I must say that my blog gives me the creative outlet that I so desperately need, and is building my confidence to the point that I’ve continued work on a book I started many years ago. So, perhaps one day, I’ll be a writer too!


  137. Most of the times blogs are the same but i honestly enjoyed what i read. Cheers !

  138. […] “Talking Shop,” or “I’m a writer, too!” (via Intergalactic Writers Inc.) Posted on December 24, 2010 by inislamicworld I always get really excited when I find out someone writes. The second they let that fact slip, I'm gazing at them, trying to detect a flicker of kinship in their face, vibrating with the possibility that I've found another one! Writing, particularly in the early days, is a relatively solitary endeavour. Paradoxically, or perhaps consequentially, it's also an endeavour with a huge sense of community. I haven't personally met most of the writers I … Read More […]

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