The act of writing to those who don’t do it, or who are not familiar with people that do, seems a mythical, slightly nostalgic, easy thing to do. I like to imagine that people think writers sit with typewriters, notepads, fountain pens and the things that come out of these are the finished book. The first words put down onto the page are never the finished book, most of those words probably won’t even make it into the final version of the book.
What I’m trying to say is, writing is not what people think it is. It is anything but easy. The worst thing I’ve heard about writing is when I was about to leave to go to university, I told somebody what I was studying and their only response was: “Don’t you know how to write already?”
No. No, I didn’t. I still don’t. A writer never really knows how to write. People improve, from book to book, even from the first chapter to the last. As with anything, you get better with practice. You don’t expect a doctor to be able to operate on someone the second they gain a medical degree, why should a writer be perfect the second they sit down with an idea? A writer can work on the same idea for years, another only months. Writers are all individuals with different work ethics and routines. Just because I am a writer, it doesn’t as everyone says, mean I’m ‘going to be the next J.K. Rowling’. I don’t want to be. For a start, nothing I write is anything like Harry Potter. It’ll take a lot for anybody to emulate that success.
Writing comes from everywhere. Not all of us are going to get the idea for a bestseller stuck on train. Some of us will. Others will get ideas in the dead of night, forcing themselves to get up and start writing in case the brilliant idea goes. Personally, my ideas spring up everywhere – between pages of my favourite books, lines from inspiring television programmes, phrases from favourite songs, conversations had, daydreams, places, people. Everywhere.
Writers in books are usually only that, writers. They have one job, one calling, one responsibility. Writers in real life are the opposite. Some have jobs, some have three jobs. Most writers don’t just write.
What I’m trying to say is, being a writer isn’t an easy way out. I don’t want to be a writer because it’s easy. It isn’t. Most of the time I want to smack my head against the wall because I can’t think of a thing to write. I’m tired of people thinking writing means sitting and home and making characters up. In recent years, being a writer has become more of a job, if anything. If you are lucky enough to get a book published, you then have to face book tours, interviews, publicity. You have to work to get people to buy the book so you can make money. Not that easy, is it?
Currently reading: Death on the Ice by Robert Ryan.
I’ve pretty much given up on Nano, at 19,883 with only 5 days to go and over 30,000 words still to write. I don’t mind. I’ve got 19,883 words of a novel I didn’t have before. It’s all good.