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Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Toast to the Closet Writers

Many writers, at some point or another, have been closet writers--they don't tell anyone they write, that they want to write, or that they are actually writing. If you find yourself in this situation, you're normal.

Writing can be very personal, like our story and characters are our own children. Or maybe you're a closet writer because you fear what others will think about you if they saw what you wrote, or because you fear you aren't good enough. Or maybe, you're just not ready to share your work yet.

Some of the best writers have been closet writers, and there are wonderful perks to being one.

So here is a toast to closet writers.



Successful Closet Writers

New York Times bestselling author David Farland admits to being a closet writer as a teenager. He'd hide his manuscript, fearing someone would find it. Now he has over 50 books in print (several of which have won awards), has worked in the movie and video game businesses, and is also a writing instructor.

But there are different levels of being a closet writer. Perhaps you aren't a full-fledged one.

While I don't know if Rowling actually kept the fact she wrote a secret, she kept what she was writing secret. She never even told her mother about Harry Potter. And even after publication, she was still somewhat of a closet writer: she showed no one her manuscripts. The first person to read them was her editor.


The Perks of being a Closet Writer

If you are a closet writer, you have something beautiful.


As a closet writer, you can write what you want without pressure. It's your story. It's your world. No one else's. People aren't bugging you about what you are writing, asking personal questions about writing, or asking "When's that book of yours going to be on the shelves?" You can set your own pace. If you want, you can write entirely for yourself and forget all about the audience. You can forget about marketing and pitching to a publisher. You can write whatever you want, however you want.


Outlets for a Closet Writer's Writings (Or the Writing Hobbyist)

If you're a closet writer or a hobby writer, and you still want readers, but without the professional pressure, you can upload your novel, chapter by chapter, onto a social writing site.

FictionPress.com
WattPad.com
Mibba.com
StoryWrite.com
Figment.com
Booksie.com

and, if you're a closet fanfiction writer, many of these sites allow fanfiction, but you can also try FanFiction.net

Note, however, that I don't recommend doing this if you actually want to take that same book to a traditional publisher. But if writing is more casual for you, these sites can be great. I know because I spent a lot of time on one of them as a teenager.

I recommend using a pen name like Wayne Hardy or some cool username like CloakWolfThirty, so, if you ever do decide to actually go serious with writing, people (and pros) won't google you and find all your interactions and stories uploaded there. I'm sure some people would argue against my advice, but that's just mine. The stuff I uploaded as a teenager was pretty craptastic in some ways (I can see now). I don't want to be "known" for it.

Here are the perks of these sites: you can get readers and feedback (and from people you don't know personally). It feels good to have someone eager to read the next chapter of your story. And if you aren't a pro writer, don't sweat it. Most of the people on there aren't. If you are, you'll find praise. Some of these sites even hold writing contests.

Follower Spotlight

Rebecca Lamoreaux grew up reading every book she could get her hands on. Besides reading and writing, she enjoys dancing, singing, playing her viola, and riding her bike. After earning her BA in English - emphasis in Creative Writing, she traveled to and lived in several different countries, obtained many ideas for her writing, and studied literature in different cultures. She is a full time author and currently lives in Arizona with her husband.

Thanks for following me Rebecca! Rebecca recently received news that her novel is going to be published. Yay! You can following Rebecca's blog here.

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