As the title of this blog suggests, it’s all about the incredible hard work that writing involves, because let’s face it, it does. I’m sort of being a little bit sarcastic, as I don’t really consider writing hard work; it is undoubtedly work, but to me it doesn’t come that hard. It’s what comes after that initial draft, that I find hard, all the self doubt and rewriting and editing.
Hard work is what my father used to do when he was a builder, coming home caked in dust and dried mortar. When my father would come through the door, he’d be tired, ready for a beer and a sit down. Then he’d see me, sat at a table drawing or
writing some story that must have seemed pretty silly to him. I might as well have
been dressed as a French dandy with a quill in my hand. In his eyes at least.
I wanted to be an artist when I was a kid and could always be found sketching something. My father actively tried dissuade me persuing an artistic career, and would regularly inform me that I needed to learn a trade. Perhaps he was right, but I
went on to work in animation, which I think he’s quietly proud of. And now I write my books and sell them. He never says so, but I think he’s impressed. I hope so.
If you’re reading this and you’re a writer, you’ve probably got a similar story. Yes, writing can be very much like hard work. There’s that dreaded foe, known as-writer’s block, to contend with. That’s when your plentiful note taking comes into play. What? You haven’t made any? Shame on you. The small, pocket sized notebook is the writer’s best friend. Oh, and his laptop- I like the laptop because it gives you that old typewriter feeling, sort of.
The hard work is the editing in my opinion, sifting through the piles of badly constructed sentences to find a few good ones. They say leave the manuscript for a few weeks and take it out the drawer and have a read. It doesn’t work for me. I need a couple of years of distance before I can separate myself from my work and tell the rubbish from the diamonds. I’m sifting thriough my back catalogue of work at the moment, some of which I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s so much easier to tell what’s good and what’s atrocious. Stuff that I had written that I thought was bad, now seems quite good.
It’ll be interesting to see what the readers make if it all- especially with my 600 page Jack The Ripper based novel. Anyway, thanks for reading.