Rant: Am I The Right Kind of Writer?

There are great advantages to being a viewer of the online writing community. Not a member, per se, but an observer, lurking in the mists just outside YouTube, Instagram, or Goodreads, listening, learning, leaning in now and then to give a like or a “yay,” but never jumping in with both feet into the great advice-laden oblivion. For me, this is probably the best.

I find myself getting anxious, watching videos in particular, about who I am supposed to be as an independent writer and how productive I need to be to succeed. While the publishing advice is helpful and I understand the Amazon-fueled distribution model demands more and more blood sacrifice, I am starting to think that there is a whole market/niche/community out there of “writers” who only give “writing advice” and don’t necessarily write anything else. Please understand I am a novice here and baby hasn’t become cynical yet.

So before I download your “helpful” PDF or sign up for your “complete marketing course” I’m going to want to see a list of your non-writing-business related books, please. Yes, yes, I understand you write under a pseudonym (as I obviously do as well) but before I invest any more of my time (my most precious resource) I’m going to need to see your bibliography. Because otherwise I’m going to think that the best way to make a living as a writer is to cobble a bunch of blog posts together and market them as an ebook to other would-be writers.

I was so thoroughly impressed with this young writer’s discussion (and the subsequent responses) that I became an instant fan of Shaelin. I especially appreciated how she calls out how the community is mainly middle-class, U.S.-based, white women.
(Full disclosure, that’s me too.)

Just to reiterate what Shaelin talks about in her video (which I’ve only just come across, pardon my tardiness) is that writing and writers come in all forms. The Writing Process (capitalized because it’s fucking important) comes in all forms and changes, not just by writer, but buy Project. Every project, whether non-fiction, blog post, article, or fiction has a different Process going into it, during creation and revision, and in the final packaging. The idea that anyone has the secret to the perfect Writing Process is ridiculous at best, an unscrupulous lie at worse.

And, man oh man, don’t get me started on videos about bullet journals and the “Writer’s Planner.” Fhgnaklakdglishdflksndlfkhlsdkfslkdf!

Yup, I said it. I’m unimportant enough to get away with it, too. Wait until my next post when I talk about how a chunk of the writing community appears to be supported by spouse salaries.

Answer: Yes.

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