If you want to be a writer …
Yesterday I ended up in a long conversation with a writer who wondered why I kept telling people what they shouldn’t do. Why didn’t I tell them what they should do to become good writers instead?
Well, it’s not that easy. It’s a bit like running a marathon: I can’t tell you how to win the Boston or the London, but I can advise you to drink lots of fluids, break your shoes in before the race and NOT to eat reheated local food the night before. Negative advice has value for all, positive advice might work for one or two, but can’t apply to everyone.
However, there are a few rules that are universal and the basic one is that if you want to be a writer you should sit down and write – every single day, whether you want to or not, whether it’s rubbish or not. Only writing makes a writer.
B.A. Goodjohn18th April 2006
How true. Just had a student threaten to tear up their work because of my critique – essentially my response to things that didn’t work for me. A list of negatives, if you like (although there were some bouquets in there too!).
But writing every day. It’s the bottom line, isn’t it? The sometimes boring, bitter, painful bottom line shot through with veins of pure bliss!