Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Author-in-training

Being an aspiring writer is hard work.

It isn’t how it is in the movies. Magical opportunities DO NOT drop out of the sky, and no one bumps into a strangely co-operative publisher in their local book shop.

If you are serious about wanting to me a writer, it will take blood, sweat, and tears, and even then you may not succeed. No one will tell you this at school, or as you get older. It is an unpleasant thought, but more true than you realise.
 
I knew I wanted to be an author from the moment I could form a story in my imagination. Who wouldn’t want to live their dreams for a day job?? But, if like me you started out your life with a less than basic state-funded education, you will have been woefully underprepared for your literary career path. The sad fact is most over-crowed school rooms across the country, with overworked and underappreciated teachers fighting just to keep their pupils heads above water, are not the breeding grounds of literary genius.

That, you have to create for yourself. There is no magic manual, or instant quick fix. It is built up over years, though reading, writing terrible first drafts (and second, and third drafts…), writing pieces for free, for anyone that will take them. Learning your craft takes time, effort, and money. And fitting it around your full time job, life, children etc. makes it even harder.

There is a reason that most new writers don’t make it onto the shelves of Waterstones.
 

But, don’t despair. The craft of writing is just a tool. A vehicle to showcase the more important thing. That being your story.  Because this is the most important thing about being a writer. It is the heart and soul of what we do. Without it, words are just markings on a page. They mean nothing without the story to interpret them.

I am by no means an expert (in any particular field), but I hope to give authors-in-training an idea of the many dangers and pitfalls that will befall them on this VERY long road ahead to publication. Not everyone will make it to the end. But I hope that some of us will.

2 comments:

  1. I am here as promised and I have to say you have a very professional page. Writing is something you have to do and get out on to paper all those things which run around inside your head all the time. I am sure you will be really successful and wish you all the luck in the world, but I doubt you'll need that much.

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