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Writer’s Craft #77 – Not so much in common

June 19, 2012

John Preet

John Preet

John Preet lives and writes in Calgary, AB. John is a pilot, a technical writer, an animal lover, and a teacher of martial arts.


In a recent response here on the Writer’s Craft, I suggested that — as an identifiable demographic — writers were high on the list of “no known associates”. Having been challenged to defend that view, I
may learn to keep my yap shut. Maybe. Don’t hold your breath. So here goes.

Through one of the better writer’s groups I have heard of and a number of different workshops, I have observed such a wide variety of personalities that it is difficult to even divide the writers involved into groups.

Intellectuals? Sure. Arts degrees? Well, maybe. These shining intellects run the gamut from garbage collectors to tenured professors and turn out such solid work that it is a joy to edit.

What about the natural storytellers who weave worlds, and are a true joy to listen to during public readings? They run the gamut from the introverted wallflowers who meticulously invent every facet of an entire universe (but can’t be heard during readings) to grizzled BS artists who spent their lives telling tales around campfires.

Anguished teens, evoking similar anguish in their audiences with every saccharine sentence, “look at me, I’m a perfezzunal writer” windbags, soulful (just ask them) poets, technical types with very gadgety universes, and every so often, someone whose work makes you understand what the superbly talented Lilith Saintcrow meant by doing it “to quiet the screaming in our own heads.”

They are all writers but they don’t have a lot in common.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2012 8:06 am

    I think you are absolutely spot-on. About the only thing writers have innately in common is that we all write. What might then go on to create a sense of commonality is the experiences we encounter when we try to make our work manifest in the world. We all can share rejection stories, show the scars from struggles to promote ourselves, compare notes on critique horrors and editors from hell, or blessed mentors and sources of inspiration. But these are the shared adventures of a wildly diverse group who find themselves on the same fool’s quest. The quest is what makes us a community.

  2. June 19, 2012 9:07 pm

    Or maybe the need to quiet the screaming in our heads?🙂

  3. JohnP permalink
    June 20, 2012 5:12 am

    What was that? Sorry, I could not hear you.

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