Its Like High School, Without the Braces

Beware: Contains material offensive to “part time” writers, so if you’re a sensitive little twat, then stop reading.

Right now.

Stubborn aren’t you?

Okay, fine. You asked for it.

Again, Ill begin with a quote: “The way you define yourself as a writer, is that you write every time you have a free minute.” John Irvine.

After reading an article a friend posted to their facebook about what it means to be a writer, I started thinking about all the different writers, or pseudo-writers, I’ve come across. Some are passionate beyond anything I’ve ever seen before, some are convinced that they are ‘s gift to the writing world, some only do it as a means of passing the time when they’re bored, and some of them have “fat-girl-in-tiny-bikini” syndrome. They refuse to see the DISASTER that the rest of us do in their work.

As a result, I’ve decided to take it upon myself to classify the writers of the world. Where do you fit in?


The writer is someone who personifies the quote at the beginning of this post. Their 5 year plan looks the same as their 10, 15, and 20 year plans: Get published. Get published again. They can be somewhat normal – spend time with their children and spouses, even work a 9-5 job, and take the occasional vacation. But there is always time set aside, every day, without exception, for writing. And if that time has to cut into the wee hours of the night, stealing from the sand man, then so be it; because nothing is more important for their self-purpose than to write and be read.


The prophet is an arrogant sonofabitch. They nearly always have some talent, though it doesn’t have to be much. They join writers groups or critique groups and are always the first to give negative feedback, usually sounding like: “That was, um…. to make it better, I would…” But when it comes to receiving constructive criticism, they let it go in one ear and out the other, gracefully. The Writer loves to hate the Prophet.


The hobbyist is harmless. A muse visits them every so often, and they get the urge to put words on paper. A sentence, a stanza, a poem, a few lines of dialogue: they write it down, but rarely use it. They tell themselves “I really should make time to write” but never do. They sometimes have a journal with random scribbled lines that will probably never turn into a finished project, and that’s okay with them.


The reader is a book obsessor – someone who will finish a book, high on the world they’ve lost themselves in, and think, “I could write something like that. Yea. I should.” But the pen never hits paper. Instead, on their trip to Borders, intent on finding a book on Writing, they leave with a stack of mainstream fiction and go home to lose themselves again.


The deaf one flat out refuses to take constructive criticism, even when it is asked for! The deaf one will ask a fellow writer to Beta read a MS for them, or critique a chapter or two, and then completely disregard the comments. The Deaf One is easily offended, crying at what are only helpful suggestions, and doesn’t do well in groups.


The WIW Writer is a pitiful creature. They try. They ask for constructive criticism and do what they can with it, but when it comes right down to it, their work is painful to read. They have the heart and are willing to put in the work. The talent just isn’t there. If it were possible, I would surgically remove the talent from The Prophet and implant it into the WIW Writer. They deserve it.

Have your own categories or subcategories? I’d love to hear them.