Life's been busy lately, both on and off the web, and a rather cool anniversary completely passed me by.

This blog was one year old!

Photo by gotbrimmed
March 1st 2012 saw this post about 'The Shame of Writing', in which I laid out some thoughts about what it was to be a writer and what I hoped the blog would become. It may be two weeks overdue, but it still made me happy to realise I'd kept this up for a good  calendar year. I don't actually mean the blogging itself, though that's been a laugh. I mean, really, being public and open about writing. I really do think there's a tendency in writers to be furtive.

To be embarrassed.

To be be secretive.

You lose so much if you don't share your writing. Is fear of being judged keeping you back? The judgement's never going to go away. If you put work out there - especially as a professional, for people to buy - then it's only going to be judged.

Is some sense of false humility making you hesitant? Screw humility. You're a writer. You're an artist. If you care this much, you probably have some talent. Show it to people. Accept genuine praise.

What other reasons are there that stop people trying to make it as a writer?

Cost? No. Don't pay agents without getting sales. Don't pay publishers. It shouldn't cost you anything if you're doing it right. (N.B. Yes, of course, it will a bit - envelopes and computers and writing programs and paper and pens cost money. But that's not the same as thinking you need to pay for all those things to be a good writer).

Time? Tricky one. Modern life is busy. But everyone else's life is busy too, and plenty of people write books. The idea that someone with a good idea and a lot of skill would put off their book because they think they can't commit makes me sad. Don't watch that movie. Say no to that coffee with a friend. Make time. Writing is important. Don't feel like you're choosing a hobby over real people.

Age? Sex? Location? Pah. If you're reading this blog you know those don't matter. Add in race, identification, or anything at all besides 'can write down words.'

How about this one, then - that it's hard. I have a lot of sympathy and empathy and a few more 'pathies for this. 'Daunting' is a good word to describe the feeling of staring at a blank page - which might as well represent the entire publishing industry and all the people in the world - and feeling like you have to overcome it all if you're going to get a book out there. It is hard, is the truth. I guess the thing to remember is that it's hard for everyone. It was hard for JK and Neil Gaiman and Stephen King and Jacqueline Wilson and David Almond and Jane Austin. They just chose to do it anyway.

Turned out OK right them, didn't it?

So that's the motto for my blog's second year. DO IT ANYWAY.

Maybe one day I'll make t-shirts. Let me know if you want one when I do.


  1. Words to live by! Maybe you should make t-shirts.

    Happy Blogoversary!

    1. Thank you very much! If I ever gain an army of serfs I shall certainly return to the idea