Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Do ‘real’ writers drink espresso? Do you?

Okay, obviously that was just to get your attention. I’m sure “real” writers and writers of all sorts do indeed drink espresso. (Some of them — not ME! — probably even got beautiful espresso machines for Christmas. I was lobbying for one of those single-cup regular brew coffeemakers, myself, but it never happened.)

Actually, though, I have a point to make here: “REAL” writers are as diverse in their personal habits and their writing habits as you could imagine. When you, whether a beginning writer, writer “wannabe,” or experienced and well-published, begin to stereotype writers (including yourself), you are on the wrong track. “If only I did this like he/she does …” is NOT the way to develop your writing style or your writing career.

It’s very natural to become a fan of someone who’s writing you admire. I’m a big fan myself of Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Stephen King, Lawrence Block, Ernest Hemingway, and many other writers. But does that mean I want to live as they do, write as they do, learn and copy their research and story development habits? No, of course not. Because what works for them may never work for me.

I once told a spiritual advisor of my, jokingly, that I admire my wife’s emotional stability and depth of character so much that “I want to be just like her when I grow up.” His immediate response to me was: “Why not be just like YOU instead?”

That showed me this particular spiritual adviser may be lacking a bit as far as his sense of humor — but he was on target in many ways with his comment.

Learn what “real” writers do. Weigh how their work habits, lifestyle choices, experience and education, etc., might be useful for you. Then make your own way down the twisting path of “writer’s world” as best you can. You’ll become the best writer you can be that way.

(Personally, I don’t care much for espresso, though I’ve enjoyed more than a few good lattes. Good old fashioned Maxwell House, however, is my caffeine source of choice.)

One Response to “Do ‘real’ writers drink espresso? Do you?”

  1. Chris says:

    Good advice! It’s too easy to follow the path of thinking, “Am I doing it right?” As you point out, there is no “right” way, but the way that works for you.