Sunday, June 29, 2014

Who are Writers?



I have not worked on much of anything for two weeks, maybe a little more. In what would typically been seen living the good life of lounging around, I have had to be caring for some family members for medical reasons. Not so much relaxing on the beach under the summer sun. There has been no television (Penny Dreadful!) or reading (currently stuck halfway through a pretty good SF title), and most importantly, no writing.

That's sort of a lie, I knew I wouldn't be able to do the brunt work of typing, so my focus has been on outlining. A nice perk in thinking conceptually is all my manuscripts have been revitalized and all problems in narratives are gone. Finished. Disappeared. I am now stuck waiting for this time to pass so I can type a few thousand words out a day.

This new found time has allowed me to ponder some questions, and in an introspective turn, my own situation. What is the difference between an aspiring writer and a writer? I'm going to delve in some video game logic for the next paragraph, to illustrate this idea.

Video games, or more specifically, online multiplayer games sits in a spot where they are not the product, the playerbase is what's being sold. A team deathmatch with only one player is no fun, so developers and publishers must do their best to keep a healthy player count active. And here's the tricky part, a player gone from the game for a day or two is no big deal, but a player gone for several days is cause to worry. As Albert Einstein said, time is relative, and when one games, it's important to have fun constantly. When one does not game, it's time where they realize there are better activities to spend an hour or four hours on. Casual players who are gone for a week are likely stop permanently, where a much smaller hardcore community is likely to return. Same goes for writing.

I like NaNoWriMo, I really do, but like a game, it rewards a constant participation for thirty days. I'm not the kind of writer who works in a crunch, instead I work over the course of months. I tend to think most people work in my way (I'm biased). My thoughts on the matter are what happens to the writer when an unexpected delay of a week or more sets in? Do most people stop and talk about it to close friends and family about how they almost did it?

The main difference between an aspiring writer and an actual writer is dedication. Whether it takes a month to write a manuscript or it takes two years, a writer will commit themselves to their goal. It's not the person who reads the most books. it's not the person with a number of books on store shelves. It's not the person with a degree. It's not the person with the most expanded vocabulary. It's the person who saw it through until the end, no matter how rocky the road or how long the journey. That's a writer.