Sunday, 27 January 2013

A writing epiphany

After around twenty-five years of writing and reading as much as I can and five to seven years learning about the world of professional writing and publishing, I have come to the decision that one of the following statements is correct;

1.       Writing is actually very simple.  The two main things needed to succeed are perseverance and luck.  Writers make it out to be much harder than it seems.
2.       Writing is one of the hardest things to do on this planet.

Let me explain the second statement.  Obviously getting published is hard.  Perseverance in the face of constant rejection and trying to score that rare piece of luck is incredibly difficult.  But this second statement is saying that the actual writing is hard.

Which one do you think is true?

My vote is going for the first one.  The more I think about it, the more I think that writers think too much.  We worry too much and we go on and on about the simplest of things for no good reason.

I read writing magazines and scour writing forums and time and time again I see advice and questions that are just common sense.  It’s as if the feature writers are trying hard to justify their own existence and all this does is make aspiring authors panic and worry, resulting in the questions and self righteous answers on forums.

I have recently decided to separate my ideas of plots which will mean writing a lot more books than I originally planned.  Considering it’s taken around three years for me to get to this point with my current novel, on the sixth draft and with a growing paranoia about whether I’m barking up the wrong tree, how on earth will I ever write, finish and potentially publish all of those books?

Writing advice is full of grammar tips, rules on adjectives and speech marks, formatting issues and plot arcs.  All of which, I am beginning to feel, is a complete load of rubbish! 

I’ve started to get the feeling that writers are making up rules to justify themselves, to explain their actions, to earn money and prestige with no consideration to what this does to those new to the writing world.  And why not?  If that is how they earn a living and it helps just one person, then that's great.  But this weekend I came to the conclusion that writing simply cannot be as difficult as everyone makes out.

There are so many published books in the world.  So there are many more unpublished writers than published but I wonder how many have stayed unpublished because of the fear that these writers dishing out their advice have caused?

Well I refuse to be afraid and I refuse to fall into this trap.  Since the day I first discovered writing I have dreamt of being a published writer.  It is the only thing in my life that has stayed constant and it will happen.

We don’t need fancy charts or rules.  We only need confidence, perseverance, luck and to write and write and write.

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