A response to Want-a-be Writers Versus True Writers
Typically I wouldn’t respond to negative thoughts about a blog of mine. However, on Google+ I have received some responses from colleagues whom I respect and feel that perhaps they warrant a genuine response.
Arrogance was not my goal in that that post. I am certainly no expert in all things writing and therefore have no place for arrogance. Perhaps an explanation of why I needed to post that post is in order.
I had recently purchased a piece on Amazon.com. It was by far the worst written piece I had seen. A lot of that may have fallen on the editor, but clearly it was an example of garbage being published. This coupled with the comments I have received that my art can be done by anyone with pencil and a paper upset me.
I believe anyone can become an artist of some sort. It may take some many years of practice and others only a few months. The fact remains that some people are disillusioned with what their talents are.
People assume that all it takes to be a writer is to write. Just as they assume all it takes to be a photographer is to take a picture. Everyone takes photos and everyone writes something.
However, writing your grocery list in Courier font, double spaced, with one inch margins all around does not make a story. Therefore you are not a writer in the since of being an artist.
Anyone can become a great writer with time and the right course of study. The fact remains that seriousness of the art form is needed. Many self proclaimed writers have not dedicated themselves to the craft, and are generally not serious enough to really succeed. As I mentioned in “Getting Published” there are many stumbling blocks along the way, in which a person who is not serious will drop off. However, the steps in that article can clearly be skipped by self-publishing.
Next, I have nothing against self-publishing. I may very well self published my first novel. I only used it as an example of how the bad writing can leak in. As one of my colleagues pointed out, “…I know of at least one author going into his fourth book with a big publisher and I think the quality of his writing is utter crap.”
She is right, while self publishing as made it easier for the crap to get in, traditional publishers have had leaks in their “filters” for years.
So in summary, please take this from my previous post:
Writing is an art that is difficult. You can help struggling artists with good reviews, and you can help readers with bad ones. While anyone can write, it takes time and patience to become good at it. How much time depends on your natural abilities. Lastly, I would never want to discourage anyone from getting into writing. The hope is that my blog posts will actually encourage you to do so.