Oh dear, no sooner have I traversed the ‘Can I Call Myself A Writer Now?’ hurdle than I am pulling up in embarrassed confusion in front of the ‘Am I Now Qualified To Dispense Advice?’ one. It took me ages to confidently declare myself to be a writer and there’s still plenty of people out there who are all too ready to put me in my place because, haven’t you heard, you aren’t ‘allowed’ to call yourself a writer unless a. you have an agent, b. your books are actual books that can be bought in shops and c. they’ve heard of you.
Anyway, I thumb my teeth in their general direction and gaily call myself a writer to, well, pretty much everyone these days. After all, most of my income now comes from the fruits of my finger tips so I have to boldly put ‘WRITER’ on my tax self assessment and everything and if HMRC Revenue and Customs think you are a writer then who is going to argue with them?
Am I qualified to dispense advice though? Well, here’s the thing – people keep on ASKING me for advice as if, well, I am some sort of writer who might actually KNOW things. I can’t advise on how to become traditionally published because that’s something I know NOTHING about. I’d also take anything I have to say about voice, POV or tense with a HEFTY pinch of salt as I’m currently writing in the apparently loathed anathema that is FPPT (First Person Present Tense) and rather love it. Okay, I REALLY love it.
I CAN however talk about writing historical fiction, self publication and also how to actually BE a writer so, you know what, I think I can crank something out.
Here we go then, ten tips for being a writer.
1. Don’t forget to eat.
2. Join a gym or take up some sort of activity that gets you away from your laptop and out of the house.
3. Read lots and lots of books. Don’t copy though as obviously that’s really bad.
Oh God, you know what, you don’t need advice from the likes of me. The only thing you really need to do is write. That’s all. Just WRITE. And don’t forget to eat.