Not So Quick Post #9: The Scotsman Discusses Becoming a Writer

Susan Mansfield’s ‘So you want to be a writer’ in the Scotsman.

This is an excellent article on being a writer: the dedication, the drive and the persistence. The only downside to this article – and every other article on the same topic, or even my blog — is that it preaches to the choir.

The article emphasises the fact those who say If JK Rowling can make a bagillion pounds, so can I are unlikely to be published or make any money from writing. It argues that hard work, dedication and drive are what makes the author.

Yet, if you’ve pulled up this article — or similar articles, or blogs on writing — you are more likely to be the type of person who is serious about the craft of writing, and therefore you are more likely to become published. Whereas, the delusional do not read articles on writing, and if they do venture out to find pieces on the discipline of becoming a novelist the advice of hard work is ignored.

How do I know that the delusional do not read articles on writing and/or ignore advice about how writing is hard work? Because I’ve had some of these people in my classes. They turn up, want to know the secret to writing a best selling novel, and when I can’t provide an A,B,C checklist of how to ‘Get Rich from Writing’ they leave the class disgruntled.

So, the final question of this Not So Quick Post remains, ‘How do we hard working writers reach the delusional?’ Or, maybe, it’s better to let them continue in a misbelief that writing is a quick link to money, because nothing will come out of their mis-guided notions anyway. And if that is the case, then articles like the ones written by Susan Mansfield – and indeed this very blog – do not exist to reach the delusional, but to ensure those of us plodding away, that we in fact are not delusional and if we stick with it we will one day be published. Maybe not rich, but published.

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2 Responses to Not So Quick Post #9: The Scotsman Discusses Becoming a Writer

  1. Amy Anderson says:

    I am one of the delusional. Of course I fancy the idea of writing the next great novel, I just don’t have the drive or the patience to actually do it. Well done, Ms. Marsh!


    • marshrachel says:

      Amy, you are certainly not delusional. In fact, because you stated that you do not have the drive or patience to write a novel, that makes you a non-delusional. Those who recognise the difficulty of such a project are often those who are the best writers. It’s the people who don’t recognise the time and energy that it takes to complete such a project, and are then upset to later find that it’s not an easy task. Now, with that said, I think you should start writing. And if you do, will you send me your work? (Pretty please)


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