There are already millions of books out there, pre-prepared for just for you in a bunch of different genres. And what do you want to do? You want to go and write one of your own.
What makes you think the world needs another novel about vampires struggling with puberty and their own blood lust? Why should we listen to your tragic tale of the Mafia boss who only wants to be loved but keeps the mummified heads of all his victims in the closet?
Since the rise of the internet, it’s become apparent that the world is full of wannabe writers. Every other person and his/her disaffected, half-wit offspring has a blog declaring their writing in big, bold HTML.
And every one…every last one of you feckers is mad as Norman Bates. Here are some of your more endearing character traits:
- Writers are delusional. You want someone to read your endless rants and so you write them down. Sometimes, someone who is equally delusional will agree with you or laud you and this reinforces your writing behaviour, making you pick up your pen and write even more. It’s all a self-perpetuating lie – a slow, painful spiral into the dark pit of despond – and you don’t care. Because your head is wired up wrong.
- Writers hate the real world. You hate the drudge and banality of it all. The way the seconds slowly tick by towards an empty and meaningless death without so much as knight in shining armour to make it seem worthwhile. It makes sense to create your own world and live in it. Nut jobs do it all the time, so why shouldn’t you? Except that it’s not real. It’s just you daydreaming out onto paper and it doesn’t change that dumb world you live in one iota.
- No one understands writers except other writers. And other writers are far too selfish to be really interested in your work. We are self-obsessed creatures at best. And the rest of the world doesn’t care much either. People might be initially impressed that you write but watch their eyes glaze over when you start talking about your beloved work – you get the same effect when you pull out your holiday snaps at work.
- Writers hate criticism. You hate constructive criticism even more. It stabs you. It gouges a bloody wound in your heart. As a writer you believe you have been born whole and with a purpose into this world, armed with perfect penmanship and a few neat ideas. How could anyone think that your work was faulty in some way?
- Writers love the shiny-shiny things. You are easily distracted, let’s face it. Ohh! What’s that over there? The big wide world is forever trying to drag you away from your computer and sometimes you are too powerless to resist. This comes from that nugget of self-doubt deep in your writer’s soul, the one that reveals who you really are. That’s why you find it so painful to look at the empty page and why that thing over there by the window is such an easy distraction.
- Writers are bipolar. One minute you’ll be buzzing and the next you’ll be staring at the bread knife with a self-indulgent fit of depression, thinking hideous things and tearing at your hemp t-shirt with “you don’t have to be mad to be a writer but it helps” emblazoned across your back.
- Writers have over-inflated egos. Some of you keep up the pretence that you are mellow beings, altruistic to the core. But it’s all a lie. Only a consummate egoist would think their words were vital to the future and well-being of mankind and the planet.
- Writers hate the successes of other writers. It’s true. You think: But…but that should have been me!!!! You put on that fixed smile and type a congratulatory post, but you are burning inside (see 4 above).
All of this goes to prove one thing. That maybe I shouldn’t drink red wine and write in the afternoon. Maybe I should get on with my novella and get it finished and stop making the lists of things that I think are wrong with me. Maybe I should shout my writey-ness (obviously made up word) from the top of the nearest mountain, declare it to the unwitting world. And maybe I should just shut the hell up.
Self-doubt is a terrible thing…
So, what’s your worst writing characteristic? The one you hide from everyone. Let us know in the comments section below.