Thursday, June 30, 2011

Writers: You're One of Them

First off, THANK YOU so much to all of the people who commented yesterday. I’m literally compiling a list of all the books I now want to purchase/check out. AWESOME. Seriously. I’m going to wish more often…

Oh, btw, I was looking around Amazon yesterday and came across a New Adult contemporary romance that I’m voraciously reading right now. It had great reviews, seemed really angsty so I bit the bullet and bought it (it’s only $4 something). The book is called Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, and I’m getting whiplash from all the roller coaster emotions (in a good way, I like super angst every once in a while).

So lately, on Twitter, I’ve been talking with people who have been really good at setting goals for themselves when it comes to writing. I see them on #amwriting, and they proclaim proudly, “I’m doing this by then, and that’s it” or the ever popular, “I JUST DID THIS, HEAR ME WRITE IN CAPS.”

In both of these cases, I’m a Twitter cheerleader, so you’ll see me a lot (if you follow me) saying things like “OMG. That’s awesome, congrats” or “I wish I could get myself to do that” and the like. Now, thinking back on all these mini-chats, I think I’ve come to realization that’s there’s really three kinds of writers when it comes to sitting down (butt in chair…blah blah blah) and getting the work done:

  1. The Great Thinker: This person has been having the GREAT idea for several years now. Maybe it came to them when they were in high school, or when they were driving in traffic, but they know the idea is awesome, and if they could just get it done, the book would be awesome as well. ---> This one is actually a lot of people. They noodle for a while, but after a loooong period, they get it done, (and to be honest, it might be done better because they did take so long)

  1. The Let’s Get On With It Optimist: (ha) This person also had the GREAT idea but he or she wants to plow through it with a vengeance. Noodling it out is for people who don’t get things done, in their book. They are speed writers. Thinking is for the second draft.

  1. The I Know It’ll Suck, but I’ll Plug Through It Person: This is the middle ground person between one and two. He or she doesn’t have high hopes for the novel in the beginning, but they like it enough to get it done, and while it won’t take years, it’ll take more than weeks to write it all down and then edit it until it sparkles. (Most people are #3, I’d guess)

Now, for me, I’d say I’m a #2 who dabbles in #3. That meaning that I was once an avid #2 kind of person but I’m drifting quietly into #3. I’d like to go back to thinking in the 2 mentality though. I personally believe that the first draft should be done crazy fast so it’s more cohesive, it’s more fun, and you can hurry up and get to the all important edit.

Do you agree with me? And more importantly, what kind of writer are you? Let me know below.

Now, to leave you with a song to write by, “Mix Tape” by Brand New (officially my favorite band for the past 5.5 years). It’s off of their first album (but their 2nd is the best)


  1. I think I'm number 3, but lean toward number 1. I have ideas that stick with me for years, but they're always in the back of my mind until the time is right for me to put it down on paper.

  2. I think I'm a combo of two and three. I'm am a pantser, I didn't write an outline until I was done with the first draft, I probably would have been a speed writer had nothing else been going on in my life, lol!

  3. Jenna, I think I was in the same boat in the very beginning, before I switched to being 2 and before I turned 2 dabbling in 3 :)

    Jen, lol, I feel like a lot of people would say the same thing. I worked better, though, when I had too much going on. Then, writing was an escape I couldn't wait for. When I have every opportunity to write...I watch horrible television :)

  4. I'm so a 2. I attack a new novel with a dangerous mixture of eagerness and stupidity. By the time I get to the second draft, a good chunk of the first half of it must be rewritten lol. Still, for me it's all about putting words on a page, getting those ideas flowing and letting the story take control. The mechanics of it I can fix later, but it has to get down on paper first.

  5. The East Coaster, I love hearing about full out #2 kinds of writers. They seem so into the story, like a person possessed :) I think it's worth the rewrites.

  6. Don't know if it's different for children's picture books but I'm definitely a #2 kind of writer. The story needs to be short and sweet. For me all the little details are definitely left for the 2nd draft.

  7. Martha, it may be, but I think the base principles are the same for most writers. I love #2 writers, personally. It's more fun writing that way, I think. As long as you don't get writer's block.

  8. I think I am a #1, I have a few ideas for years which I have not even touched till today. Though at times I am to write as soon as I hit upon a new idea.