Today’s post is written by Matthew Turner.
I recently wrote a guest post about self-doubt, asking people how they dealt with it and offering solutions for other self-doubting writers.
The response was fantastic, and despite dozens of solutions proposed, it seemed people split into two main camps (affectionally described as)…
- Fine Wine Writers
- Imported Beer Scribblers
Here’s what I mean:
Fine Wine Writers are those who need to take a step back, look at their work, and go through a rather long prolonged process of editing, self-doubt, and generally driving themselves insane (in the same way that fine wine takes a long time to make).
Imported Beer Scribblers are the opposite of this, composed of people who just keep on writing. It doesn’t matter how much they doubt themselves, hate their writing, or stumble into creativity barriers. They simply pick up the pen and write. They trust the process to sort itself out and guide them down the road to a satisfying end (in the same way making beer is a rather quick process).
What Type of Writer Are You?
I fall under the category of a Fine Wine Writer, which is rather ironic as I’m not a huge fan of wine in general, let alone fine wine. It’s, quite frankly, wasted on me.
In terms of writing however, this is exactly what I am. I go through huge—often daily—bouts of self-doubt. Roller coaster rides of loving my work one day and looking at it with disgust just 24 hours later.
The process I follow is inefficient and lengthy, but it works for me. Although I hope certain things will change in the future, I like my crazy Fine Wine process—the tune of which often follows this format:
- Write a chapter, read it back straight away and really, really like it
- Come back to it a day later with the intention of writing the next chapter, re-read the previous, hate it, and sulk for an hour
- Walk away from writing altogether for a few days in the hope that a fresh head will make things better
- Come back, re-read, re-edit, make changes here and there, and eventually walk away with a smile
- Come back the next day and start the next chapter, ready for this tortuous process to begin once again
I imagine however, the reverse looks this way:
- Write a chapter, read it back, smile
- Move on to the next chapter
Hmmm, slightly more productive, right?
These fine folks leave editing for editing, and creating for creating. I’m sure they still have doubt, and I’m positive they hate their work from time to time, but the big difference is they move on and trust in their writing to guide them.
I often read blogs about authors releasing over a dozen books a year. They have huge numbers in the Kindle store and, as such, have thousands in income each month. This is something unfathomable for me. Considering I’m still on book number one after six years…well…I think I’ve a way to go before getting to this level.
These people are clearly not Fine Wine Writers. I suppose the defining question is, however, does this make them better writers?
Is One Method Better Than the Other?
I’m proud of my Fine Wine status because it’s what makes me the person I am. I hope to become more efficient in the future, but I feel this will occur naturally as my writing improves, and as my self-doubt decreases.
For all you Fine Wine Writers reading this, hold your chin high and be proud. You may never be the author with ten books for sale per year, but that doesn’t mean you won’t become a success.
And for all you Imported Beer Scribblers, well done too. Be proud of how you go about things and have faith in the process you follow.
There’s so much advice thrown at us these days, it’s easy to deny our natural processes in an effort to conform. Although conformity can be advantageous sometimes, I always believe being yourself is the general rule to follow.
So what are you? A Fine Wine Writer or Imported Beer Scribbler? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your process?
Matthew Turner is a strategic marketer who blogs about how aspiring authors can market themselves. An aspiring author himself, follow him on his journey to becoming published at his blog and on Twitter