Status Seeker vs Storyteller
Okay, status seeker vs storyteller, as a writer, which one am I? I know which one I hope I am, but I need to delve much further into a book I picked up at last years Romance Writers of New Zealand conference to find out for sure. (BTW this year’s conference is fast approaching – see www.romancewriters.co.nz for details and registration).
Since being part of a Donald Maass Writing the Breakout Novel workshop some years ago I’ve been aware how practical his writing advice can be. So it was no accident I grabbed another of his books “The Fire in Fiction” to study. The fact its taken me nine months to pick up this book to actually read is no reflection of his skill or my desire to learn from his advice.
Reading his introduction this morning while my computer ‘warmed up’ I’m already hooked by his referral to writers as being either status seekers or storytellers. He suggests status seekers are primarily concerned with publication and the money and kudos which accompany this, while the sharing of a story is the storytellers motivation. I hope I’m correct in assuming the storyteller role.
While publication of each new book is an exciting event for me and I love to share the news of another of my babies “hitting the shelves” I have to say this buzz is not why I write. I write because I can’t imagine what I would do if I couldn’t write. I often get stuck, have even weeks of writers block, lose where my current story wants to go and struggle with ideas but the thought of giving up being a writer? I did consider this possibility recently, as me and my husband’s dream of travelling the world does encroach on my time for writing, but the thought was gone within seconds. What would I do if I wasn’t writing? I’d go crazy.
Donald also suggests that storytellers make more effort than status seekers perfecting their stories, honing their skills, delivering a ‘better’ product to their readers. I want to be a writer who does this, a writer whose readers are always eagerly awaiting my next story. I want the readers of my stories to “close the book” with a satisfied, feel good sigh and hopefully the urge to recommend the story to friends and family.
Am I a good storyteller? Only you, a reader, can testify to that.