Want to know if you're a "REAL" writer? Then take the following quiz. Keep track of your scores for verification at the end of the test. Because having a great idea coupled with the desire to write is simply not enough. Being a "REAL" writer is so much more.
You're a "REAL" writer if . . .
1) You write at an antique desk, preferably owned by some literary giant of the past like Poe, or Plath, or Thoreau. +1 point for antique desk +10 points if owned by someone famous.
2) You write with a real quill pen and ink pot. +100 points (super cool).
3) You've been published by ALL six of the major publishing houses. +1 point. (You'd think that would be worth more, but if you've been published by all of the big six, then I hate you. This is my quiz and I can score it how I please).
4) You've written a literary piece of work. Not genre, memoir, or nonfiction. +2 points.
5) You never revise your first draft because it is pure genius as is. +5 points.
6) You write poetry and lots of it. Poetry that rhymes doesn't count. +3 points.
7) You've been to at least 396 writer conventions in various states and foreign countries. +1 point.
8) You have a study (do not confuse this with a "den" or "office"--doesn't count). +1 point
9) You have at least three 7 foot bookshelves filled with all kinds of books + 1 point for each bookshelf.
10) You wouldn't be caught dead owning Stephen Kings On Writing, or Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont or any other kind of book for writers. "REAL" writers do not need them. +5 points
11) You don't subscribe to Writer's Digest or The Writer. Again "REAL" writers do not need them. +1 point
12) You are depressed and suicidal or you're heavily into drugs and alcohol. + 1 point (I can't give more than one point for that. That's so sad).
13) Your work has been featured on several radio shows and in all the magazines even Golf Digest and Road Rally. +15 points
14) You were on Oprah (before she quit--those of us who weren't will NEVER be REAL writers. That SOO sucks for us). Oh, and your memoir better be truthful or you need to subtract a thousand points. +600 points
15) You make a ton of money writing. Every piece you've written sells for big money. You were able to quit your day job. +200 points
16) You think all of the above is a bunch of poo, and you love to write, regardless if you ever get published. You HAVE to write because it's who you are. It's a part of you, just like breathing and sleeping. You can't imagine not writing. You're like a junkie, but with words. Your laptop is your best friend. And you write because you LOVE it--you absolutely love it! There's nothing else you'd rather do. Then give yourself +1,000,000 points.
Now tally your scores:
Anything less than 1,000,000 points, you need to rethink your whole take on this writing thing. That's all I'm gonna say. Though I want to say more. But I won't. You get the picture.
Anything above 1,000,000 points--you ARE a REAL writer. Own it, baby. Just own it. People will tell you you're not a real writer because you didn't get that 3 book deal or you didn't become a New York Times Best Seller or you self-published so it doesn't count or you skipped using an agent or you received 20 rejections from agents or whatever funky, crazy reason people come up with today to dismiss writers and make writers feel like crap for doing what they love.
Out of curiosity, does anyone know whether artists (painters or photographers) or musicians ever feel this same way? Are they told they're not real? I guess in my mind, if someone told me they were a musician, I would simply be impressed. I wouldn't ask what venue they played in or even what instrument they played, "Oh, the drums? That's too bad. Only REAL musicians play guitar." Do musicians do that to other musicians? Do artists? Just curious.
As writers, we tend to do that. Maybe we don't admit it, but we do. Certain genres are looked down upon. Self-published authors are treated unfair. If someone published one book, we wonder if it was a fluke and if they're capable of publishing another. Why are we such snobs? Why do we do this? Is it jealously?
So I say, let's knock it off. If you write and you love doing it, then SWEET! Super awesome! I'm impressed. You are a REAL writer in my book. There's no membership required. Nothing to fill out. Even though some people will make you feel as though there is a special "club" of which you'll never fit in. But has anyone seen this "so-called-club"? I didn't think so. I shake my head and tsk tsk at those crazy coots who get their kicks by making writers feel sooo small by creating new "rules" to keep themselves looking good, and to keep us feeling as though we'll never be good enough.
I write. It's what I do. I feel real.Ouch. I just pinched myself to make sure. So if I'm real and I write, then that should make me a REAL WRITER, right? You're darn tooting that's right!
Are you real? Do you write? Then there you go. You're a real writer, just like me.
Seriously, if anyone knows about the whole musician, singer, artist thing, I'd love to know--either way. I'm super curious.