Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Weekend Writer: Charles Finch And The Differences Between Professional And Amateur Writers

Since the Weekend Writer began as a sort of training opportunity for beginning writers, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss Charles Finch's guest post, The 5 Differences Between Professional And Amateur Novelists, at Writer's Digest. Finch is the author of the Charles Lenox mysteries (I've read at least two of them), making him a professional.

Finch explains his points in greater detail, but basically he argues that the amateur and professional writers differ regarding tools, patience, focus, habits, and practice. Tools, patience, and focus are of most interest to me.

  • Tools: Professionals are interested in nitty gritty aspects of process.  Amateurs haven't gotten to that point yet.
  • Patience: Amateurs suffer from what has become known as the "rush to publish." Professionals have had the experience of recognizing problems in a manuscript after it has sat for a while. They want to find and fix those problems, not publish them.
  • Focus: Amateur writers often don't focus, spreading themselves too thin over an array of projects.
Today's lesson, then, is:
  1. Create a process and pay attention to it
  2. Accept that writing requires time, then take the time to do it
  3. Stay on task. 

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