If you're reading this I'm guessing you can write? I mean one normally tends to follow the other, unless there is some weird affliction and I just insulted you or someone you love.
If I did, I'm sorry.
If I didn't, I'm guessing when I said "I'm guessing" I guessed correctly, and you can write.
I'm now going to go a step further, and say that if you are reading something a writer has written (this article and me in case you hadn't noticed) in the books section of the Huffington Post you either:
1. Like books.
2. Are thinking about maybe writing them.
Working on the above assumptions, I'm now going to advise you to stop reading this article and to start writing.
What are you still doing here? You're like a stray following me home; shoo... go away... start writing!
Alright, we both know I don't really want you to go away, otherwise I would have just stopped writing and gone and made another coffee.
Truth is, I'm writing this because I want you to start writing and to stop reading about it, so, in direct contradiction of what I've already said, please read this, and THEN stop reading about writing.
With me? Okay, I'll begin.
Since I became a writer I keep getting asking, and I mean I: KEEP GETTING ASKED!
"How do you become a writer?"
So, although I love talking to other writers and aspiring writers, I'm going to answer this question right now and once and for all.
Get ready, here is the answer, the only answer you will ever need regarding what you need to do to become a successful writer... have you got a pen? Okay... here it comes... brace yourself:
Start writing and stop looking for ways to not write.
There, that's it, you can go now.
You're still here?
Okay, I'll elaborate.
This morning when I got out of bed and had my first coffee of the day (alright it was afternoon, I'm a writer, it's allowed) I read a message on my facebook page that went:
"Hi, I've going to buy your book (why they are always going to buy it? Why have they never actually "bought" it?) I was wondering, how do you approach writing? Do you plan, do you use charts, do you use character sketches and then write it long hand before typing? I'm worried about grammar and spelling, should I hire an editor or should I review each page as I go?"
Now like I say, I sincerely am always delighted to chat to readers and writers, but this message made me a tiny bit angry because I really wanted to scream "JUST WRITE AND STOP MAKING IT SO HARD!"
Honestly, if I see another tweet for a writer's workshop, or one with #writingtip at the end of it, I'm going to get very, very, cross indeed.
Writing isn't hard.
There, I've said it.
Writing just isn't hard, and if it is, you're doing it wrong.
Writing is about ideas, thoughts, imagination, it should be a waterfall, not a canal.
It should flow and splash and make noise and be beautiful and ferocious.
It should be unstoppable, exciting, a torrent travelling so fast you can barely keep up.
It should be a case of you clinging to your keyboard as you're swept towards... well anyway, you get the idea.
Writing isn't hard; honestly it isn't; just write, stop putting obstacles in your own way. Take it from me, this industry can make life difficult enough without you helping it stop you.
Just get a pen (if you're reading this in 1983), get a keyboard, get some time... and write.
You'll thank me for it.