Anyone can cook! Er write, I mean. Apologies, I think I was channelling ratatouille there.
It’s true though, as I said before if you choose to express yourself through the written word you are a writer. There is no need to qualify it.
Here’s the thing though, writing is also a craft you need to practice and learn. Anyone can decide to get into writing but once you do, you have to appreciate it is a discipline you are starting to learn. It is fun and rewarding as you see your writing improve, study story structure, learn from the greats but it does take work.
Looking at it as such, I want to let you into one of my pet hates. Something that drives me up the wall.
People who think writing is easy.
Anyone can learn the nuances of writing but it does take effort, experimentation, and a conscious effort to improve on it.
The dangerous allure of writing is that we all know how to write and read. People then assume taking the ability to write an email and extend it to novel length is a simple process. Also with writing you don’t need actors, computer animation knowledge, to read up on directing films, learn how to use something like RPG maker and the like. Nope, you sit down and write. Piece of cake, right?
I think we all know someone who has announced they want to try and write a novel. Notice of the 10% who actually start it, I bet only 5% get past a few pages and then only about 1% of that finish. Out of that 1%, only a tiny fraction will try and do something with the finished work.
Why do so many people fail and chuck writing to one side? Because they learn the hard way writing is a craft. You need to work at it. It is not easy which shatters the illusion some people have of it. Media portrayals don’t help which seem to almost universally show writers as drunk, surely layabouts who get a surge of genius and write a book in an afternoon with the need for a single redraft.
If we see a film, we have an intrinsic appreciation for all the hard work that went into it. Same with a game. However, a great many people don’t see a book in the same way when it is every bit as difficult.
What I love about a novel is that it is the work of one person, it hasn’t been diluted or altered which is inevitable with collaboration (I have a whole blog ready on that topic). So yes, writers have the advantage of sitting down and getting on with it regardless of film studios, actors and directors but it remains a craft, a tough one, and one that deserves respect if we want to master it.
As we draw closer to 2017, I wish all you all the best in the next year improving your own craft, that’s what I will be working on!
By the skin of my teeth I have got North Sea Nightmare up online by 2016, woo. My first ever published work, a horror novella. I have also wrote my second full length novel which I will be posting early January once I edit it accordingly as well, The Man with the Green Tie, a noir thriller set in the Edinburgh banking scene.
I think I deserve a reward tonight, so time kick back in chill. Work has been tough, writing has also been a challenge, but 2016 is over, onto the next.
For those of you not too familiar with Edinburgh by the way, we throw one heck of a new year Hogmanay bash. People come from all around the world to see the fireworks from the castle, whole city becomes a party. I dare say I will have be having a few drinks at the bells as well.