If you’re brave enough to tell anyone that you are a writer then the first question you’ll face is:
While some people have built up a nice healthy portfolio full of published and unpublished works, others will no doubt be about to take their first steps into the unknown. This brings us to the second dreaded question:
‘What are you going to write about?’
This is the perfect time to tell them about your complicated novel in which extra-terrestrial communities are unable to share the spoils of their respective planets so want to break away and form a separate solar system... too Brexit? Point taken! But embarrassment, or not having already produced the text, shouldn’t prevent you from sharing the idea. Their input could actually prove invaluable.
I consider myself a writer. No, I am a writer. Why? Put simply, it’s because I write. Some may like it while others may not but I am producing writing; whether it is disseminated or not is beside the point. It is important to engage with the act of writing and try to make sense of the world or, as Graeme Harper in On Creative Writing puts it: ‘to make art form communication, and communication from art' (2010, 112). However, understanding that every piece of work is not going to be a masterpiece is key to being strong enough to learn and develop. Emily Bronte, Oscar Wilde and Mary Shelley are just a few examples of ‘one novel wonders’, but that does not mean that their other writing was any less valuable to honing their skills or indeed to the great back catalogue of British literature in general.
So, to finish this particular piece, I would like to paraphrase the great ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ himself – Joseph Belafonte – and challenge you to pick up a pen and write. Do you have a good idea? Pick up a pen and write. Are you angry or frustrated with the world around you? Pick up a pen and write. Do you harbour a dark and twisted mind which needs a creative outlet? Pick up a pen and write! Write. Record. Type. Do whatever you need to do in order to make a start on the very thing you’ve always thought yourself capable of. Before long, you’ll have answers to the two questions at the beginning of this blog and can tell your friends, family and even strangers exactly what you have written.
A blog by Steve Marshall
A message from the author of the blog:
This blog is the first of a weekly series aimed at new and budding writers in the hope that it challenges and encourages in equal measure. I hope that existing writers are also able to take something away from the blog or maybe even give something back to those who have been inspired and aim to follow in your footsteps. I would truly value any comments, ideas, experiences and feedback that anyone is happy to share.