Writers and wannabes

At one of the great panels I was able to go to at Dragon*Con, one of the writers mentioned a really interesting idea that I love. There are two kinds of people who go to these panels about writing: people who are wannabe authors and people who are writers.
Now the wannabe authors want all the perks of being an author. They want to be on the panels, get the fame, roll in the big bucks( hahahahahaha! ) and bask in the fan adoration. They like to talk about writing, muse about publishing, complain about a lot of things, but they very rarely get it together enough to do the work required to become an author. They love to tell anyone who will listen about their novel that they have all plotted out, that they are working on, year after year, but when push comes to shove, they have nothing to show for all of their talking.

Writers want to sit and write. They come to these panels, take notes, and listen. Then they go back their own way and write. They live in poverty and eek out an existence on words. They are usually quieter about their accomplishments, less likely to just talk about writing and more likely to actually write, because they don’t want to be an author…they just have to write.

I thought this was a fascinating concept and I am positive that every single person in that room thought, ‘I am the only true writer here, look at all these wannabes.’ or something along those lines. But it’s not that moment in the panel tht decides it. It’s what each of us will do once the convention is over, once there are no more panels. The deciding factor will be who goes home and goes back to writing, and who goes back to talking about writing.

And yes, I currently feel like a hypocrite because here I am talking about writing, writing a blog post, not writing. But, when I am done with this post, (when I am done with this stupid thesis) I know I will go back to writing. I might wander away from writing from time to time, not have time, etc. but I have written for my entire life because I don’t know what else to do.



  1. Rachel Said:

    Oh dear! I’m not a wannabe wannabe, am I? Great article. Looking forward to your thesis being behind you so I can read the work that you are most interested in making.

  2. I agree with that, Judy, but I suspect that real writers don’t so much want to write as much as they have no choice. Writing is such a solitary and unrewarding experience. Those who write (and finish what they write) usually do so because they are compelled to.

    Blogging is more rewarding because blog posts get read. You can see that in your stats page. Sometimes they generate comments like this one. You know you are engaging your readers. When you write a story you’re doing it on faith alone that you’re saying something worthwhile and in a way that speaks to people.

  3. Laura W. Said:

    I like your observation that everyone in the room probably thought that they were the only real writers there. 🙂

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