What Kind Of Writer Are You?

Emerson Trail

The questions come fast and furious:

  1. What Kind of Writer Are You?
  2. How Would You Describe Yourself?
  3. Give Me a List of Your 5 Greatest Strengths & Weaknesses
  4. How Many Licks Does It Take To Get To The Center Of A Tootsie Pop
  5. Would you rather be Gandalf or Luke Skywalker?

Ok, I haven’t been asked to answer number four or five but if they did I suppose I could and would come up with an answer. Ask me who has been asking these questions and I’ll point my finger at my daughter and some of her school friends.

I’ll tell you about how I showed up to pick her up and three little girls asked me whose daddy I was and when I answered replied, “oh you are a blogger/writer.”

That led to a follow up question from another who asked what is a blogger/writer to which I replied “a storyteller.”

The Benefits of Life Experience

A thousand years ago when I was a wee lad I never imagined that one day I would grow up to become a professional storyteller but that is probably because I was intent on becoming the left or center fielder for the Dodgers.

Or in the worst case scenario I imagined I could go play for the Angels. I wasn’t a fan of the American league but I figured they were still an LA team more or less and if I was playing for them maybe I might leverage a trade to the Dodgers.

All I needed was a chance to show them what I could do.

Thirty or so years later I am almost ready to concede that it is unlikely I’ll ever play for either team but hope dies eternal so I figure that maybe when I turn 50 I’ll convince one of them that they should sign me to a contract.

Got more than a few years before I turn 50 which means I have time to work on an angle that will do more than just intrigue them.

You can blame that on the joy of having lived a little bit because there is no substitute for life experience and that is what allows me to seriously think about how I might convince a team to sign me.

Some of that can also be attributed to having spent a large chunk of my professional career learning how to tell stories that would make prospective customers decide they needed to become customers of whomever I was working for.

The Advantage Of Being Part of Generation X isn’t just being the bridge generation between past, present and future. It comes from being a child during the Cold War and a college student when the wall fell.

It comes from watching friends go to war during Gulf War I and then graduating college during a recession and being called slackers who wouldn’t amount to much while hearing we wouldn’t be able to retire because there wouldn’t be Social Security.

It comes from being around to see the Dot-Com explosion and implosion. Maybe you were part of a start up that hit gold. Maybe you were part of one that went bust.

Either way you heard stories of contemporaries hitting the jackpot and you got to see the move into the 21st century complete with the digital tsunami that came with it.

The point isn’t to recite the history of the last twenty years or so although if I did it would just further illustrate my point that my generation has lived through the roller coaster we call life and most have come out the other side.

Old Shoulders, Young Heads & Imagination

I kid around about misanthropy being an under appreciated art but I really do find people fascinating. I find it to be interesting to think about our imaginations and whether they change/evolve with age.

Ask a five year-old if they can fly and they might say yes. They might tell you that they can grow wings or build a rocket harness and that will enable them to fly.

Try asking a 35, 45 or 60 year old and they might smile but they’ll probably say no. Ask them in a department meeting and or in front of their peers and there is a good chance they’ll be very careful not to give an answer that will embarrass them or make them look bad.

I get it. I understand because there are moments where I really hate looking stupid. There are moments where I am ridiculously self conscious but I hate that feeling so I tend to work hard to bury it.

Not for the purpose of being reckless but because I prefer to be the kind of guy who isn’t afraid to cross through the brush to leave a trail. Sometimes that leads me with scraped knees and aches and pains that were easier to work with when I was 20 but I can live with that.

Because one of the advantages of being part of Generation X is having learned to problem solve by taking action. But the other difference between now and when I was 25 is I have the benefit of life experience to rely upon. That is an understanding that a momentary pause doesn’t lead to paralysis but helps to avoid jumping out of the pan and into the fire.

What Kind Of Writer Am I?

I am the kind who is constantly looking to improve his craft and searching for more effective tools to do so. It is why there is a new theme here and why during the next week or so you might see more changes to how things look around here.

What kind of writer are you?

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  1. Pingback: Some Pictures Are Worth More Than 1,000 Words

  2. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes September 21, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Lori I don’t think it is going to happen to you. I really don’t see you as one of the people that runs out of ideas, in large part because you clearly like people and find them interesting. In my experience that is a particularly important attribute for bloggers who last.

    It enables us to find all sorts of material. I suspect you are on the verge of coming up with more book ideas beyond those you already have.

    The connections and friendships are probably the best part of this experience because they are the most unexpected or so I think.

  3. Lori September 19, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Cool new theme Josh!  And I like the summary of the past twenty years! It’s hard to imagine how much has happened in this time!

    My kids were older when I started blogging and they didn’t ask me questions like your children did. I think they were a little amazed that I was writing and publishing a blog ( or was that just in my head!). I know they were some of my earliest supporters. I can still find the comments Alex left on my posts a couple of years ago, and treasure them.

    I keep wondering if I’ll run out of post ideas and tell myself that when I do, I’ll know it’s time to stop. It hasn’t happened yet. I’ve got at least 2 half-formed book ideas to work with after I complete my second book. What kind of writer does that make me? I don’t know but I’m enjoying it. 🙂

    One thing I do know; it’s fun connecting with other bloggers/writers. That was an unexpected area of writing that I discovered since I joined the Blogosphere nearly four years ago!

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