The world is currently clamouring for answers to rudimentary and yet essential questions, such as: How the hell are we supposed to work from home long-term and stay sane? How can we stay connected with people whilst still practicing social distancing? And what’s this got to do with writers, and how they might just be able to save the world for real this time?
I toyed with the idea of bringing you an inspirational, motivational, muppetational post which might fuel you all to sally forth into the world with good cheer. Then I came to my senses, and realised – you don’t want that. Writers want cynicism, bitterness, and hopelessness. Thank Blog you’re here – because I have just the thing for you.
On what felt like the first and long-awaited spring day of the year, I think about how the things we do in this season could also be applied to fiction that’s been in hibernation for any period of time.
(And if anyone dares to make a comment about how writing a blog post about something instead of actually doing it is the ultimate procrastination, I will sic Tark and Mara on you.)
We all have something in common. We were once terrible writers. Perhaps you’re a terrible writer now. Perhaps you’ve never even tried. Perhaps you were a terrible writer last week, but have been something approaching genius since last Thursday. Most of us never find out. We should, though, because there’s a lot of value in bad writing.
We’re told that by far the best training for writers is reading. But what happens when what you’re reading is being a big bully? Tempting you with sweet nothings? Calling you names? Interfering with your confidence and ability to write? I have a conversation with an unbearably smug book to explore the concept, and discover something nasty.