Earlier today, I received an email from GoodReads telling me that an author that I follow had added a new blog post. Sounds boring, you might be thinking and to be honest I very rarely ever read them, so what influenced my decision to read this one, I’m not entirely sure. But the point is, that I did and boy am I glad that I did.
Basically, author Catherine Ryan Howard was having a little rant about snobbery, generally from published authors, towards people who participate in NaNoWriMo. The idea being that anyone who does it, isn’t a “real writer” and that they are tarnishing the name of “real writers” blahblahblah. You get the picture.
But, it raised the question: What is a “real writer”? Some people seem to come to the following conclusions:
- A published writer is a real writer
- However, a self-published writer is not
- Someone who has been writing since birth is a real writer
- Someone who started writing last week is not
- A person who spends a large amount of time working on a novel, is a real writer
- A person who can write a novel quickly, is not
To be perfectly honest, I think that this is a load of old rubbish. As far as I see it, as long as you perform the act of sitting down with pen and paper, a laptop, a typewriter, chalk and the pavement or whatever and wherever, and actually piece things together then you are a “real writer”.
Of course, a person might not be a very good writer but surely that is personal opinion and who is to say what is good anyway?
It sounds absolutely ridiculous that we are even having this kind of debate. The world of literature is so broad, that surely there is room for everyone? Does it matter how a book was put together? Is the point not about content? Plus, just because a first draft of 50,000 words happened to have been written in the space of 30 days does not mean that that is the end of the process. I don’t think that anyone is going to try and publish what they write during NaNoWriMo, because I don’t know about anyone else, but what I write during those days is generally a load of rubbish. But that isn’t the point. The point is that I have 50,000 words to edit, mix around and re-write so that they work out into something much better.
It’s almost as if these “real writers” think that we’re trying to publish our 50,000 words of crap, when we’re actually not. A lot of time – post NaNoWriMo – is going to be put into working on second, third etc drafts.
We are all Real Writers. We all have the same dreams.