Cast out your demons! And by this, I don’t mean the little red guy sat on your shoulder – I mean your bad habits. I mean the things that prevent you from getting down to business in the writing game.
Here a few things that might bedevil your progress as a writer, and some suggested solutions:
- Pride. Here’s your profile: your name is Jack, and you’re alright. You write stuff off the top of your head and you never go back to edit it into shape. Hey – if it’s good enough for your mother, then it’s good enough for the world – right? Wrong. According to Ernest Hemingway ‘the first draft of anything is sh*t’ and who am I to disagree. I’ve already recorded an amazing list of ways to handle redrafting so I’ll let you click on that as soon as you’ve learnt how to swallow your pride.
- Envy. Do you ever get the feeling that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? Do you think that it’s useless to even try to write good books because you’re never going to catch a break because you’re too girly or too macho or too old or too young or too black or too white etc. etc. etc? Well then you’re probably not going to bother are you? More fool you, I say! Everyone, and I mean everyone who ever made it big in the publishing world (with the possible exception of Emily Bronte who has, to date, only written one novel: Wuthering Heights – what’s that all about?) has had to put a shift in. So step out of your mouldering shower (rhymes with Ivory Tower (no – I’ve no idea why I said that)) and get on with some work.
- Wrath. This means getting angry a lot – right? Okay – here’s the thing: if you can’t control your anger then there are classes you can take these days. And then when you get home you can write about your experiences. In fact – you can write about pretty much anything! See, I’m doing it now. The cat, forsooth, did lie amat. Heck, you can even make words up and people will just think you have a finely tuned sense of humour. Honest, it’s enough to make you throw the potty out of the window. Erm. Okay – where was I? Oh yeah – don’t get mad – get writing. Next!
- Gluttony. This means that you want a Big Publishing Contract and so you don’t do something that might make you just as happy. Forget the moolah – slap your book on Kindle Direct, Lulu, or Smashwords. All are more than capable of selling as many copies of your masterpiece to your Aunty Mabel as she wants so that she can give them all to the members of her knitting circle. ‘Look what my favourite nephew wrote – isn’t he just wonderful?!’
- Lust. Give, Give, Give Me More, More, More is a cracking song by The Wonderstuff, and this item is pretty much the same as Gluttony, so that makes it a bit of a waste of a deadly sin if you ask me. Surely they could have put something useful in instead, like Fear of Dying Before Reading all the Books you Want To – something proper that we can all relate to! Gah!
- Sloth. Can’t be bothered with this one. Yeah, I know – old joke – been done before. Yadda yadda yadda. Anybody’d think it was late and I wanted to get this finished and go to bed. Hmph.
- Greed. Oh, not – wait – it’s Greed that’s like Gluttony, not Lust. Ah well – what’s done is done – pass me another slice of that cake and we can … what do you mean I ate it all?