I read an article on The Renegade Writer about the seven differences between being a writing fangirl or a real writer by Linda Formichelli.
The point of her article is that ‘fanfolk’ spend more time acting the part of a writer than actually writing. Real writers on the other hand, write.
Of the seven differences she outlines, number 4 hit a nerve in all the right spots.
Anyone looking at you, with your exclamation point tattoo and “Writer at Work” doorknob hanger, would think you are a writer. But…are you actually writing? Don’t delude yourself: A collection of quill pens does not a writer make. – Linda Formichelli
Note: I don’t have an exclamation point tattoo. If you’re gonna go there, go for an interrabang.
It’s the difference between a person who wears a thousand-dollar tracksuit to sit on the couch and another person who hits the pavement for a five-mile run every morning.
I have a confession.
Without knowing it, I was a creative writing fangirl for years.
I still have the paraphernalia. Blank journals, dozens of pens and pencils, buttons that read “I’m silently correcting your grammar” (even though I don’t); the works. I still have a small army of books about writing that I still haven’t read past the first chapter, mostly because I don’t want to mark up these lovely trappings and make them less shiny.
When it comes to copywriting, I’m in the trenches and doing the work on a daily basis. It’s my job, and I love my job. When I leave the office, I leave knowing that I left it on the field. I’m fortunate that I get to do something I love for a living.
But as much as I love copywriting, it doesn’t count towards my creative writing which I love just as much.
And that’s there where I hang my head in shame.
I’ve spent more time shopping for books on writing that I have reading them. I’ve spent more time obsessing over the word count in my blog posts than racking up my word counts in my WIPs. I have more blank journals than full ones.
Thankfully, I’ve been changing since the universe gave me a much-needed kick in the tail a couple of months ago.
I’ve been working on my primary WIP whenever I can and in doing so, I’ve added more than 3,000 words to it. Now it’s up to 5,054 and will be longer before I go to bed tonight.
I’ve been reading Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell and as I go through it, I’m marking it up with notes and underlines and highlights. (Note: not a paid link.)
For the past two months, I’ve been hitting the writerly pavement; hard.
Now whenever I feel myself slipping, I have a word for that kind of person I don’t want to be. And I owe Linda a world of thanks for giving me that word so I can stay on the right side of the fence.
I don’t want to be a fangirl. I want to be a writer.
When I post a blog post, I try to be helpful and make about it you, not me. But this time I needed to just be honest about my shortcoming.
Learn from my mistakes. Take a few minutes to read Linda’s post. See if anything resonates with you. Here’s the link again: Are You a Writing Fangirl…Or a REAL Writer? 7 Ways to Know by Linda Formichelli
And Linda, if you ever read this: thank you for the extra kick in the tail.