Sarah's Scribbles

The Year of Months

Two Types of Writers

October 5, 2009

Over the past year I have become increasingly immersed in the sub-culture of fiction writers.  I have met hundreds of fiction writers, both published and unpublished.

There are those who claim they write only for themselves, those who write to entertain, and those who write to get a point across.

Some writers compose by the seat of their pants, their first draft taking the place of an outline while some work from an outline that's nearly as long as their book and still others who write an entire series based on three words scrawled on a bar napkin.

There are historical fiction writers and fantasy writers. Chick Lit writers. Mystery writers. Childrens writers and erotica writers. Literary fiction writers. Science Fiction writers. Fan fiction writers and mainstream writers.

There are so many different types of self-imposed classifications with many sub-classes and crossover categories that writers have mulled over ad nauseum.

After much attentive observation, I have come to the conclusion that there are only two types of writers:

1) Am-I-Good-Enough?
2) I'm-Amazing-and-Anyone-Who-Disagrees-Can-Suck-It

Every writer I've ever met falls into one of these categories.  Sometimes they jump ship to the other category, but most will stay in the same category for their whole lives.

I find it interesting that there aren't really any other characteristics that the writers share. Both categories are home to some fantastic writers as well as some who commit heinous crimes against literature. There are published writers in the category 1 - even after they've sold millions of books. And there are unpublished writers in category 2 who will refuse to work on their craft until the day they die.

Personally, I find myself switchng back and forth between the two categories almost daily... sometimes hourly. I have confidence in my ability to formulate fascinating characters and an interesting story, but I often doubt my more 'technical' skills, the nuances of the craft.

What do you think?  What kind of writer are you?