The Writing House Has Many Rooms
I enjoy and support the inclusive nature of writing. It offers so much to people, who vary widely in why they write. (Getting published is a different matter–it’s exclusive rather than inclusive.)
Writing attracts people for different reasons. Some hope that through writing they’ll become rich and/or famous–and some succeed. Some have the goal of sharing their personal journey, while others set out to educate, provoke, or amuse. Some people write for the fun of letting their creative side out for a romp. Some want to record the intensely personal.
When I talk to people who have made writing part of their lives, I find that they can be categorised in terms of their intended audience. In other words, who do they want to read what they write? A difficulty is that some people are not clear–either to themselves or others–about the category they belong to now, versus the one they want to belong to.
The three broad categories of audience are paying readership, non-paying, and self.
- Do they want or or do they already have a paying readership? Again, what a variety. Some writers hit the big time, while others write for a more specialised, smaller market. For others, this is a goal still to be reached. But this goal of getting paid for their writing identifies people in this group as professional writers. One can query this descriptor. For example, is someone who published a book 10 years ago and nothing since still a professional writer? Or an ex-professional writer? To me, it depends on the person’s current actions and goals for his or her writing.
- Are they happy to stay with a non-paying readership? People can find ‘free’ readers by joining a writing group, club or class, either locally or online. They can also publish for free via the many online publications on the Net.
- Are they intent on writing for an audience of one, themselves?
Walt Whitman said, ‘I am large, I contain multitudes.’ The same goes for writing. It is and should always be a house with enough rooms for all of us.