I saw it again today and it made me cross enough to dust off
this blog and make one of my rare forays into the ether.
Will you please stop referring to yourself as an aspiring
writer or a wannabe writer.
You may aspire to being a published writer (by whatever definition
of ‘published’ you care to choose); it is possible that
you are a wannabe published writer. However, you write or you do not write. An
aspiration to write is a waste of your time. If you do not actually write
anything, you cannot aspire to being published (unless you are someone with an
agent who can get you a book deal despite the fact you cannot string three
words together in crayon). Writing means working. Hard. For years. Without
reward. That is how you produce short stories, novels, poems, screenplays. Well,
that is how you produce good ones. I’m enough of a realist to know that a lot
of garbage gets picked up and published – look at the best seller lists. You
may wish to try that route. That’s your choice. I have made mine.
Accuracy is important in writing, using words to pinpoint an
emotion or state as exactly as possible whilst using the resource that is
language to do so in a new and memorable way is part of what you are meant to
be doing. If you cannot get it right at this stage you will be adding to the
heap of garbage.
And before you get on a horse of any height, I’ve argued
before that good writing can (and should) be used in all cases – high
literature or the latest thriller/romance/sci fi/fantasy epic. It may make me
sound [insert description of your choice – the words ‘old’ and ‘fart’ will
probably be included if you lack imagination], but I happen to believe that
writers (as well as agents and editors) have a duty to see that only work of quality
gets put out before the public. It is what makes writers worth supporting.
You will only ever get that far, however, if you write. Stop
aspiring (a fancy word for daydreaming without intent) and get on with it. Now.
The official publication date is 6 March 2011 (Charlie's birthday). Full details of where to get the book will be avaible soon. Watch this spacetime continuum.
You can see something of Charlie's own writing here.