While I was in Atlanta, one of my friends told me about a conversation she had with someone else (let’s call this person Olivia) about me. Olivia commented that I was “really serious.” When my friend assured her that I was actually a bit of a goof, Olivia replied, “No. I mean about writing.”


I often say I’m like a crack addict when it comes to my writing, and I realize most people are, well, not. And that’s okay. Not everyone has my passion, my drive, my commitment, my hangups. And again: that’s okay.

Now I wasn’t there for Olivia’s side of the discussion, and I don’t know the context of the conversation, but this whole “serious” comment got me thinking. I talk to people, I mentor writers, and I share my knowledge and experiences with anyone who asks. And I see the difference between “serious” writers and hobbyists. What, in my opinion, makes a writer “serious”?

If I’ve invited you to attend any of my classes, you’ve promised you’re coming and then don’t show (more than twice), you’re not “serious.”

If you still don’t have a website, a blog, or some form of online presence and keep throwing up silly stumbling blocks about why when asked, you’re not “serious.”

If you don’t read (in and out of your chosen genre), you’re not “serious.”

If you spend more time socializing or playing games on Facebook and tweeting pics of your food than you do with an open document, you’re not “serious.”

If you don’t have the slightest interest in strengthening your writing weaknesses (spelling, punctuation, waffly POV, GMC, etc.) you’re not “serious.”

And umm…yeah. I’m “serious,” and don’t call me Shirley.

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