The writing group I’m part of at a local library has changed leadership and the first homework assignment is to bring two things to Wednesday’s meeting. The first was a plan for what we are going to be working on (and why) and the second is an essay on what makes a good writer.
I’ll go into what I’m working on in a later post, since that gets a little complicated, but as for the essay…
The new group leader has over three decades of newspaper writing under his belt as well as other nonfiction works. He’s a great guy, but he doesn’t seem to grok why I want to write without getting paid for it. He has no real understanding of how genre fiction markets work and doesn’t claim to. It’s not a thing he’s ever been interested in, so I understand why he never went exploring on my side of the insanity pool.
His goal with the writing group is to ‘get everyone published’. But he means ‘published by a company’ and not self-publishing, or blogging, or Wattpad, or any of the playgrounds I hang out in. I had to explain to the group the concept of fan fiction and derivative works and the love of writing just to be read.
So what makes someone a writer? The act of writing.
What makes a good writer? The act of writing effectively.
There you go, that’s my essay. Good writers are the ones who effectively communicate with their readers. It doesn’t matter the genre or format or paycheck, it’s all about what your readers walk away with.
I’m going to keep going to the meetings and being my fiction-writing, non-profit seeking self… because I think I can learn a lot from him. His perspective on the writing world is one I don’t have, and I want to be able to see things through his eyes.
And maybe I can help him see things through mine. 🙂