Friday, 26 February 2010

More on writing tips

Over on the Guardian blog about their writing tips wotsit, I made a comment that I think is worth hanging on to and expanding a little. I'll do it, cos no one at the Guardian's goona be interested. Hell, no one here's going to be interested, but at least i don't have to answer to Alan Rusbridger.

For myself, the only thing outside the obvious I have to say is write what you wanna write. The chances of getting anywhere are so slim you might as well enjoy the process. (And if you don't ever enjoy the process, find something else to do with your time.)

Lots of people have said to me over the years, "Oh, you wanna be a writer, why don't you write one of them RPG tie-in books/mills & boon/doctor who novel/cheesy fantasy trilogy". It's a good question, lots of perfectly decent writers make money that way, and I guess my response can be taken as self-sabotaging or even somewhat arrogant: "Because I don't want to."

The fact is, I don't actually want to be "a writer". I want to write, and that's a little bit different. I have a day job I vaguely dislike, and thankfully it's unconnected from my writing life. It's still wordy, that's my skill set, but it has no bearing whatsoever on what I do in the evening on my own time (free cell and masturbation - only joking!).

Obviously, I could still be the writer I want to be while working on this work-for-hire stuff, but my current day job pays me much more than a gig hacking out Warhammer novels or what have you. I'd probably enjoy the lifestyle much more, but right now I need money and lots of it, and that's what my day job brings.

FInally, I'm not certain that I'd be any good at that. I hate those kinds of books, by and large, and the world's full opf people who are not just talented writers but genuinely love that shit. I've read cheesy novels before from writers who evidently feel they're above all this crap, and I don't wanna be one them!

When I write, i want to express things about who I am, and if i can't do that I might as well take the money and stick with the fund reports.


  1. "I'd probably enjoy the lifestyle much more"

    Would writing alimentary stuff be better than doing another job for alimentary reasons?

  2. That's the question!

    I've worked freelance before and I know that there's no fewer arseholes and no less hassle involved. It's nice to be able to spend the afternoon in the pub without faking a sicky, though. Sigh!


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