Warning: Those of you who are making headaway or have had a degree of success and are nurturing some tender soul just starting off upon their literary quest will of course make sure they do not read this. The words herein are sure to confuse, upset, discourage or worse given them most peculiar notions. This post is more for those already up and away but still not yet quite there, and is of course a cautionary tale.
Now it is very important that we make clear as the nature of being a BAD writer. Firstly let us look the misinterpretations;
Firstly- Commercially very successful writers. It is no use anyone complaining about their lack of style, literary merit, plot construction or character development. These folk have struck a chord and are doing very well out of it. So they do not fit here.
Secondly- Those who are not making vast sums but are doing quite nicely because by some empathetic flow have become adored by the professional critics, and thus have their books on people’s book shelves or Kindles etc. The ones on shelves seem amazingly well cared for and the ones of Kindle etc must have been read quickly because there they are at 0%. One should not dwell on or question the merits of those authors; one may be scorned for lack of artistic appreciation.
Thirdly – There are those rebels and iconoclastic folk who are BARRRDDD and have a cult following; never mind what they write, why they write it, who they write it for and if what they were actually writing doesn’t seem to have any purpose or sense. All is well within that circle, leave it be.
Fourthly there are the dire crew who write solely to whip up anger, distrust, hate or nonsense and should be referred as ridiculous or dangerous. They are best dealt with by inserting their heads into a toilet and have it repeatedly flushed, it might not change their outlook on life but the person who does it will have served the community.
So who is or to be more accurate what makes a BAD writer?
In the first instance the answer is quite simple. Everyone starts off as a BAD writer. We have this urge and gift thus the words find themselves from mind to paper (or screen), but of course our skill is raw and as is the case in all things Life needs to be honed and refined. In addition, someone new to the art does not have the first idea about how to get published and more importantly how to make the world aware they have been published. Then of course there is the matter of trying to gain some remuneration from the efforts. Many of us who start off with the idea of quickly making a sizeable sum out of writing will have that knocked, dredged or purge(d) out of us sooner (usual) or later (once the word ‘quick’ loses its glitter). So to begin with everyone is BAD.
Now, my friends, many of you will progress along the road, illusions will evaporate, skills will be honed, experience will be gained, lessons learnt and artistic skins hardened to the extent of be rebuffing rejection slips with snarls rather than tears. Your blogs will have respectable followings, your books will be in print (or e-print) and people will know about them. You will have thus become A WRITER. You are no longer BAD. You are simply not getting recognition and this is frustrating. You will however keep on, because the art is in your blood.
You may only place your efforts upon a blog. That does not matter one jot, if folk are responding well to your work, then you have achieved. If you are content and fulfilled by blogging, then that is absolutely, positively fine. You are there, you are making your mark.
Neither does BAD apply to those who have their work in a drawer, file, memory stick, and elsewhere. All that it means is that they have simply not got around to the next stage, it is simple as that. No further comments need to be said. One day they will blossom. Or rise to fly.
In the final analysis a BAD writer is one who may have talent and may have skill in the right combinations and by all rights should be published, but they do not have the urge, inclination, concentration to put all the necessary requirements to place their work fully and effectively into the public domain. Quite frankly there is no shortage of advice on WordPress and elsewhere and yet does this stubborn breed take advantage of it. No they do not. They rattle away at their work and very few know of it. So why are they to be called BAD? Well some of them may be depriving the reading world of their effort; not I you kid dear reader, it is bound to be the case! Then there are those who by not fulfilling their accomplishment, must ask the hard question ‘Am I making the best use of my time?’ And of course there are those BAD writers who will not listen to any advice and will carry on the same old way, with the same old syntax and continuity mistakes; not checking for continuity, not doing much in the way of re-writes and will only serve to inflate the prejudices of those sniffy sorts who look down on self-publishing.
BUT JUST HOLD ON A BETA-READING MINUTE THERE!!
Are BAD writers a waste of time and foolish folk who have no business being hereabouts.
OH SPIFFLE!! OF COURSE NOT!!
Y’see my fellow writer-in-peril there will always be this breed. There will always be folk who will simply not get anywhere close by their own efforts …..
Yet, somehow by a quantum-like synchronicity will make a connection, not by their own efforts, but by the power of some other intense person who insist upon dragging them out of their mire in glorious sun-lit uplands, because they are that sort. And much they…that is the ones who do the dragging…will gain. The BAD writer will hopefully learn something too.
And others will just blunder about the place, and as I have stated before will serve as examples of how not to do things, so much will be learnt from them so those of a more constructive nature will do quite the opposite.
Also blunders will also, inadvertently provide to their readers’ ideas and material for the reader to use. NOW, this is not to say the reader is stealing material…Heavens T’ Betsy no! This is all in the subconscious, either the forlorn BAD writer is material themselves or amongst their output are bits and pieces which will find a home in another writer’s imagination without the writer really being aware of the origin. FINE!! Being a source of inspiration is as worthy an existence as any.
Finally, in conclusion if you recognise any of this within you it illustrates categorically, indefatigably that YOU ARE NOT A BAD WRITER…..you’re just on your journey. Strive on you bold writer.