12 February 2011

What Type of Writer are you?

It’s time to examine some portions of a writing life. I’m guessing if you’re reading this blog, that you have perused numerous writing guides, blogs, and other matter on writing. Notice I said books on writing are guides. This is important to note, as they can give you pointers on your journey, but they cannot BE your journey.

Let’s continue looking at the beginning. Ask yourself this question:

What type of writer are you?

This is not asking what genre you write. I find that doesn’t affect your ability to write as much as the type of writer that you are. The medium you use to write (pen and paper or computer screen and keyboard) also doesn’t matter to this question. I’m looking for information regarding your writing journey. If I asked this of other writers, I might hear answers like weekend scribbler, daily pounder, or muse-inspired creative-type. Realize that not one of these answers can be wrong.

I see a light bulb. Yes, you can actually breaks nicely into two questions. ‘When do you write?’ and ‘What is your writing process?’

If you look at the question or its break down and still can’t answer it, let me see if I can offer some tips to help answer it. How? With more questions, of course!

When do you do your best writing?
a. Morning when everyone else sleeps?
b. At night after everyone is in bed?
c. Middle of the day with your energy at its peak?
d. Some other time?
What is your writing process like?
e. Do you sit and write every day?
f. Can you only write when an idea hits you?
g. Do you only find time to sit and write on specific days, but when you get that time, you’re ultra productive?
These questions help answer the original question. My answer makes me an early morning when time permits scribbler/pounder. I write best early in the day, when the house is mine, well, except for my cats. When it’s flowing, I can easily complete two to three thousand words in a two hour session at a keyboard.

Oh dear! I’ve unnerved you again. I realize that sounds intimidating. It’s not meant to sound that way. It shows that I’ve found my groove and know what best works for my journey. It doesn’t mean that what I do is what you must do. I offer tips and guidance.

Last post, I suggested just sitting down to write. During the last few weeks, I wanted you just to develop the habit. Now, you want to look at the habit you developed. Find what worked best from your attempts to write. Did the TV always distract you in the evening? That’s probably not a good time for you to write. Kids, pets, or other household chores keep you from your page? Perhaps finding a better time, when those distractions aren’t around will help. I know writers who work best after dark, with only the light of the monitor and the sound of their keys.

I’m not going to say writing every day is wrong. However, you need to find your time to write. Some people work well writing every day, just going to their computer, sitting down, and writing. Not everyone does. Some people need to recharge their creative batteries after a while. I know I do.

Over the next few weeks, continue to sit and write, but watch when you work best. Try to position your writing time so that you get the maximum benefit.

I’d love to hear how people answer my question. Feel free to comment with what type of writer you are.


  1. I'm a plodder. A bit each day but only on weekdays. I treat my writing as a job and so take weekends and holidays off. Since I started doing that I've gotten a lot more productive and have killed any guilt I used to feel on weekends or vacations about not writing.

  2. I'm a late night writer, and I typically write in spurts. It's not "when the idea hits me," though; rather, it's more whether I'm committed to a particular project. I do need time for other things, but I've found ways of making many of them spurt activities as well. So, when it's time for writing, that takes center stage and I get tons done. I tend to write 2,000 words an hour when I'm really focused. I've learned I cannot do the every day thing, because some days are just too crazy. But I do try to *think* about my writing every day. There's always time for thinking.