Tell me if this conversation has ever happened to you.
Person: "Oh, you write? That's so cool! I'm working on a book too!"
You: "Really? How far along are you?"
Person: "I haven't started yet, but I've got loads of ideas. It would make such a great movie!"
Today I'm going to tell you the differences between real writers and fake writers. This way, you can see for yourself where you fall.
1. Real writers write while fake writers talk about writing. Writing is a labor of love that takes a lot of work, energy, and tears. It's insulting to writers all over the world when you call yourself a writer, but you've never put a word down on paper or even finished a chapter. I'm pretty sure everyone ever born has come up with some idea they think would make a good movie, but that doesn't make them a writer. Coming up with an idea is just the beginning. Calling yourself a writer when you don't write is like putting out an oven fire and calling yourself a fireman. Don't do it.
2. Real writers finish their projects while fake writers just start them. Don't get me wrong, we all have unfinished novels sitting in a drawer waiting to be finished, but true writers will finish at least one project, even if it's just a short story or poem. Calling yourself a writer without ever finishing a writing project is like calling yourself a baker because you have all of the ingredients in the bowl, but never putting it in the oven.
3. Real writers get work done while fake writers procrastinate. Anyone who's ever written anything knows that writing a story is a very long process. Sometimes that process is so long and so discouraging that one might just give up on the idea completely. Real writers, however, can never be discouraged from their craft. They will always end up going back to one of those unfinished projects and adding to the word count. Fake writers will realize all of the toil it takes to write a book and they'll decide to put it off until eventually they forget that they even started it.
4. Real writers write because it's their passion, fake writers write to make money. Piece of advice, if you want to make billions of dollars, writing is the wrong profession for you. J.K. Rowling and Steven King might make millions off their books, but if you're anything like me (a regular Joe) you'll make very little/just enough profits to keep yourself going. Storytellers tell stories because they have to––it's just in their DNA. If you're writing to make money, your heart is in the wrong place and it will show in your work. In fact, you're no better than the sequel to your favorite Disney movie.