One of the banes of every writer’s existence must be the person who walks up and declares that they’d like to be a writer and then vomits ideas at the drop of a hat, never thinking that perhaps the REAL writer might just want to not be there…

Now before you get all grumpy and think that I’m not encouraging of new writers, I’m not – but I am rather tired of people thinking that everyone who has an idea can be a writer. Or a painter. Or a heart surgeon. I may enjoy my reruns of ER on TNT every day, but if I want the tag of Doctor I have to go to school and learn the basics, not just claim that since I’ve seen enough blood drawn to give me the needle and stand back!

If you want to really be a writer, here’s your first clue – READ. Read everything and anything you can, in your fav genres, out of it, cereal boxes, everything. When I hear about “writers” who don’t read it drives me nuts. The same is true of those who either never enter a bookstore or who blow it off for the myth that all books are now sold online. For me, it’s almost a mystical experience to wander through a bookstore for hours, choosing maybe a particular few to take out of there and back to my own little Eden. If you don’t love books, how can you write one? Not to mention that reading will give you a better grasp of grammar and spelling than any forced reading of a textbook will.

Then, you WRITE. You don’t talk about it, you don’t brag about it, you don’t tell your friends that you’re working on the Next Great American/Canadian Novel, you put your butt in the chair and do it. Mention it if you must, but don’t use it as an excuse to not do anything at all. And sure as heck don’t tell me that you’ve got the idea but just can’t find the words. That’s the entire definition of a writer and if you don’t have the skills or the stick-to-it-adness to get going, then either take a writing class to develop the skills or stop talking about it.

In other words, Write or get off the toilet. It may be good, it may be bad; it may never get published or it may hit the NYT best-sellers list, but you won’t know jack until you get the words on the page – which is always the hard part.

Heck, if it were that easy we’d all be doing it, right?

*wanders off in search of morning tea*

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