This post was written in response to Writing 101: Give and Take.
My choice of topic for the Give and Take prompt is writers and people who write. While you are reading this please keep in mind that it is an opinion piece. If you share my opinion or have a different view to offer I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
I attempted to write this post solely in a text conversation. It was short lived. I have included it here in the beginning but if you are triggered by poor grammar and spelling please do not read and skip down to the last few paragraphs.
what u mean im not a writr? i write lots
There is more to being a writer than just being able to put words on paper.
There is a difference between someone who writes and a writer. There is also a difference between a writer and an author but I won’t get into that today.
what u talking bout?
I’m talking about the desire to do better. Saying you are a writer because you write is like saying I’m an athlete because I like to shoot hoops with my friends. An athlete desires to be a better player. They put time and effort into playing their sport the best they can. If you wish to be a writer you need the desire to better your writing. You need to put the time and effort into the work you produce.
i do. I worte a chappy today. I get lots of votes online. People say I need to write more.
But do you care about the quality of your writing or about how many votes you get?
whats the difference
The difference is that writers care more about the quality of their writing. They know that good quality writing is not easily forgotten. They know that writing designed to get more votes is forgotten as soon as the person who writes it stops posting.
And here is the end of my badly written texting conversation. I would have continued but I was getting a headache trying to write that poorly. For those who skipped the text conversation, my actual post begins in the next paragraph.
There is a bit of confusion in the writing community about what constitutes a writer. For some, a writer is anyone who puts words to paper. For others, a writer is someone who has been published. I, however, feel that a writer is not one or the other but is somewhere between the two.
Once a person has put words on paper, they have become a person who writes. They are not yet a writer.
A person who writes generally has little care about the quality of the writing they produce. They may post their work online and expect everyone to love it. They are concerned more about views, votes or comments than they are concerned about what they are writing.
If a reader comments on spelling or grammar, a person who writes will become defensive. They will tell the reader that grammar and spelling are boring and no one cares. They may tell the reader to stop flaming them or flag the comment for spam.
However not all is lost, a person who writes can become a writer.
A writer cares about improving their writing. They welcome critiques* as it gives them information on how to improve. A writer reads everything they can for inspiration, guidance and research. A writer knows that the more they write the better the writing becomes.
It’s easy to be a person who writes, especially in the age of internet. However, passion for the written word is what differentiates a writer from someone who writes.
* A critique is similar to a review in that it gives information about what is and is not liked. The difference is that a critique also offers suggestions about how it can be improved.