Writing Advice. Helping or hindering the writer?
Writers Write. This is a bland statement, one that is meant to encourage but one I believe may have a detrimental effect on some writers.
I have read this statement over and over again in ‘How To’ writing manuals and heard it more than once from an author when interviewed by the media. YouTube has videos pressing home the same point; writers write not occasionally but every day.
The point of course is that writers do not procrastinate, do not spend their days thinking on how or what they should write; they write. Butts on chairs, pen or keyboard at hand they get on with the creative process whether feeling creative or not.
I do not write every day, in fact when my daughter was ill, I did not write a word for weeks. By the above definition, I cannot claim to be a writer.
I doubt I am alone in considering myself a writer, though one who needs to work in his own bockedy and individual manner. The road maps laid down by published authors are worthwhile. They may prevent some from having to stop at roadblocks or taking unnecessary detours but the particular road I am travelling is my own and no one else’s.
I have tried to write each day. I have tried to copy the working habits of my favourite authors; getting up early, writing 500 words or a page a day but for me it was pretence. I will never be a writer like Hemingway, Steinbeck, Graham Greene, Patricia Cornwell or Nora Roberts for the obvious reason; I am me.
I am a writer, doing my own thing, (cliché, tut tut) in my own way. If a novice writer is capable of following the readily available advice and progressing great, but if not, then they should not feel guilty about it. If you consider yourself a writer and can produce good work, even occasionally, then you are a writer.