Quick Addendum: While some of you may think I'm clever and witty, alas, I am not. I wish I'd written this, but I didn't. I pulled it off this blog but it was so appropo I decided to post it here today. So credit goes to Boxing The Octopus, not me. But the message is still the same.
The Dabbler vs. The Real Deal
1. The Dabbler's going to do it someday. The Real Deal is working on it now.
2. The Dabbler's waiting for life to get less hectic. For the kiddos to get older, the sick parents to get well, the earth's orbit to grind to a complete stop (so distracting!). The Real Deal writes over, around, and through life's disruptions because they never end.
3. The Dabbler's attending workshops, networking with writers, and reading craft books to lay the groundwork for her dream. The Real Deal is actually writing, with or without doing the foregoing as well.
4. The Dabbler expends far more creativity embroidering her excuses than her plots.
5. The Dabbler frequently (and loudly) decries "that trash" that's getting published nowadays (by sell-outs). She knows she could do better -- and isn't shy about saying so. The Real Deal knows that writing anything commercial is much harder than it looks.
6. The Dabbler refuses to risk criticism/rejection by submitting work to critique groups, first-chapter contests, agents, or editors. The Real Deal knows she'll have to take her lumps, often for years.
7. If the Dabbler does risk and receive any sort of criticism/rejection, she rages against the a) stupidity, b) unfairness, c) potential jealousy of the party involved. The Real Deal feels the sting but realizes it's a subjective business and moves on.
8. The Dabbler is a true "artiste" and New York is just too blind or threatened to recognize her work. This often results in years-long bouts of writer's block requiring expensive therapy. The Real Deal digs in and works that much harder, always believing that the next project with be "the one."
9. The Dabbler is sure that the purchase of expensive equipment/software or travel to distant and costly workshops is "the" secret to success. The Real Deal will write on toilet paper if she has to.
10. The Dabbler's looking for a shortcut -- a favor from the established writer that fills said writer with the urge to run like hell. The Real Deal, on the other hand, knows there *are* no shortcuts and puts in enough sweat equity (without trumpeting it) that established writers feel moved to offer whatever assistance they can.
So which are you? The Dabbler or The Real Deal?