Are There Too Many Writers?


by Cátia Isabel Silva


Often enough, when I say someone I’m a writer, people just look at me funny. Well, that’s when they are polite… otherwise, they’ll just say something to the tune of “Everyone is a writer nowadays.”, and, if I might ass, when someone says something like that, please, don’t argue, it’s pointless.

So, clearly there are many people who don’t value our work, but the question in the title is about more than that. Are there too many writers? Are there too many books? And, what does that means? Should we stop writing? Should we give up? Are we destined to failure?

If you like to read, you probably already saw how many of these little pieces of art and creativity are exposed in any bookstore. Each of them represents a person, just like me or you, trying to tell their tale and catch the audience’s attention. But again… If there are too many writers, are there too many mechanics? Or teachers? Plumbers? Any other profession, for that matter?

A book is something, especially one of fiction, that people use or resort to in their free time, to escape reality and expand their mind, but there are also TV shows and movies that compete for that privilege. Have you ever listened to someone say that there are way too many movies? So, yes, the competition is indeed hard, but you can fight back.


Should I even try?

When you’re writing a story, you’re competing with thousands of other stories, with books, movies, TV shows, comics… There are so many things out there and so many people creating them, so much talent you have to face, that sometimes it does seem impossible to do it.

Let’s face it: it’s really really hard. So, first off, you’ll need to ask yourself: what if…? What if it’s so hard that it isn’t worth it? What if it isn’t my one true calling? What if I can’t handle the fight? What if everything falls apart and I don’t have a plan B?

My advice would be to have a plan B. And then ask yourself all these questions. No matter the actual answers to them, what really matters is if you think it might still be worth it, then you must go through it.


What can I do to detach myself?

Obviously, there are trending themes that are helpful in order to catch the audience’s attention, but, sometimes this isn’t really the right way to go. Actually, it’s pretty important to write about something you really enjoy. It will be a better work, filled with passion and the people who will read your work, will be able to feel it.

Explore your fears and your strengths. For your first book, it could be pretty interesting for you to create a character in the story that is pretty much like yourself. No matter how good or bad the story turns out to be, you’ll gain from it, getting to know yourself better.

Another important point is the originality. No, I’m not telling you that your plot needs to be unique, you can pick up a common basis and write it in a way that makes it interesting and different. Just find a good conflict and explore it, focus on making your characters feel real and alive and the readers will be interested.

And, last but not least: trust yourself, keep writing, even in bad moments, eventually you’ll get there.




Guest post contributed by by Cátia Isabel Silva. Catia is a Portugal native who works in the school system. In 2010, she wrote New World as her debut novel.

24 thoughts on “Are There Too Many Writers?

  1. I believe there can never be too many writers. But perhaps – there can be too many critics. 🙂 Anyone who thinks “it’s easy to write a book,” or “everyone is writing a book these days” is obviously not a writer! Good post.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Storytelling is a core trait of our species. The ability to invent ideas with imagination and share those ideas with stories got us out of the trees and across the oceans. Too many writers? Too few.


  3. I loved your comment on how to respond to a person who has asked you what you do – I had this type of inquiry just this week. Her question was what kind of books do I write – I smiled – and she quickly mentioned a few choices – and when she said, “Literature?” I said, “Yes, Literature.” She was satisfied and we commenced to eat our lunch with no further questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wrote a blog on this very subject a few months’ ago. When people ask what do we do for a living – the answer is something along the lines of plumber, teacher, secretary etc. In this way I believe we can only call ourselves writers if we make our living doing it. Until then we write for a hobby, and a very enjoyable one it is too. It’s no good wishing to be rich and famous because there are just too many other people doing exactly the same thing – all writing while making their living doing something else and wishing to be rich and famous through writing! Okay, it might happen one day… who knows? When it does we can call ourselves writers.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve thought about this before and this is a great article by the way! I think it’s important we keep writing (as you suggest) because writers are the historians of their time, we right about what is current in our society and that is value to add to the human experience. Keep writing everyone, the population is always increasing (scary fast) so there is always new readers and a larger reader base!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Imagination comes. Some have more creativity than others. For one to write, you have to love it. I wrote diaries while I was growing up. They are lost. I used to lock them with a key, and when I wrote, I showed what was in my heart. Any time I was upset, Mom probably read my diary. One time I was sure my family thought I was retarded. I gave them a hard time until Mom started playing Sorry with us at night. I loved the game, and I learned to compete, and to have some spunk. Surely I wasn’t stupid, but not as bright, and brilliant as everyone else. I was average. I would sleep if I was too, tired to work more. Then I would come back to rejoin them. That was using my imagination. I learned to hide, and go to sleep.


  7. There can never be too many writers. Even if I knew that only one person read one of my stories and was happy, that would be enough.

    In the last few years I’ve been allowed to see and write down such wonders! It is my humble duty, duty; mind you, to share that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. People often give you that crap as if writing is the easiest thing to do. But I’m pretty sure these are the same people that can’t string together a publishing-worthy sentence. The key is to keep going and practicing as much as you can. Everything can’t be learnt by simply reading. Getting those words down on paper and writing as much as you can makes you learn new techniques and voices that you can use to greater effect.
    Taking online courses for writing is a great way for boosting the process of learning.


  9. One day, feeling overwhelmed by the number of published books, to say nothing of wanna-be writers, I thought, ‘Who am I to imagine that I have anything to add?’ Sharing this thought with a friend, who is herself a successful writer, she responded, “I don’t ever want to hear you say that again. You have a story to tell and it is your obligation, not your choice, to tell it.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.