Hey, thanks for hanging in there Gartholomites!
The next tip is probably the most important of the lot.
Be honest with yourself. Why are you writing?
Do you really have something different to say, an interesting voice and an innate sense of story, or are you just a cunt like the rest of us?
This is a very difficult thing for a lot of people to answer. The last thing anyone wants to admit is that they are clinging on to a desperate aspiration to stave off the utter terror of a vacuous and worthless existence – but that’s what a lot of us do.
After all, it’s pretty bloody obvious now that God doesn’t exist, and that he was the creation of a primitive peoples trying to find meaning in a world they barely understood, before being formalised into religious doctrines by men with small penises on a power trip.
It can be scary living in a godless world and a lot of us take refuge in a hope, or a dream, that replaces the crutch of religion. Writing is one of those, and it works for me. As long as there is a chance that my novel/ screenplay will get sold and transform my life in the future I can get through the rest of this crap. A cunning, but ultimately self defeating, replacement for a faith based afterlife.
Sure fire signs that you are a cunt and not a writer:
1) You don’t write. You talk the talk, and maybe plan a lot, but your ideas aren’t self-perpetuating.
In my youth I was taught the guitar by someone I instantly recognised as a genius. I don’t wish to name drop but he has gone on to become one of the greatest living guitarists. As Arthur Conan Doyle once said “mediocrity cannot see above itself, it takes talent to recognise genius”. I recognise that I have talent but not genius, so it’s going to be a hard slog for me, and I’m going to have to get lucky.
The aforementioned guitarist once related this fine anecdote. He used to have pupils approach him all the time asking how to write the perfect pop song. He said he couldn’t. He could teach them all the ingredients that go into a pop song, the mechanics, but he cannot teach inspiration and, ultimately, this is the source. What you can do is enrich yourself as much as possible, read and watch only the best. Imagine your mind is a hard drive- fill it with greatness and give your inspiration the best possible chance. But if you don’t have ideas that make you want to fat off over your keyboard, forcing you into a typing frenzy to expurgate your tidy mind, then maybe this isn’t for you.
At this point I would like to state that if you now realise that you’re not a writer then congratulations – you’ve just liberated yourself from a life of perpetual misery, anxiety and unfulfilment! You are now free to go and get yourself an obtainable dream – such as being a great person to others, maintaining a social life and living a full life, travelling and maybe doing a bit of fossil hunting, finding a job that has meaning to others. That sort of thing.
That should now just leave a few hardcore writers.
For you guys and gals – rock on!!! But before you swan around getting that big head of yours stuck in doorways you’re gonna have to read part three.