What does it take to be a writer?


Having an imagination that far exceeds most people’s comprehension, grasp and expectations, along with the ability to be overly critical of your own work is the answer.

Some, if not all of what I’m about to say, will infuriate many of the egomaniacs in this business. For that I make no apology…


To call yourself a writer after publishing one story, does not mean that you are one by any stretch of the imagination, no matter what you may have been told, or been led to believe. Unfortunately since it has become possible for anyone to publish a book, the market has become saturated with one time only efforts that would not make it past even the laziest literary agent, let alone the various editors in a publishing house.

Please note – regarding the latter I’m not talking about someone who advertises themselves as a professional editor, which by the way is a complete misnomer as there are no official qualifications for the job.

At best, all that is available for anyone wishing to be a full time editor are the various university degrees courses in literature and English which anyone with enough time and money can partake in. As for the so-called professional editors advertising on the internet, trust me when I say that anyone who wants you to pay them to edit your work should be viewed with extreme suspicion! In fact don’t go anywhere near them, no matter how plausible they may seem. Instead once your first draft is complete give it to people you trust to read it and find and point out errors.

As for you being a writer there is only one way for you to be taken seriously. Focus all of your time and energy on writing endless numbers of short stories, just like every successful published writer has done down the centuries, and we, their counterparts, continue to do. For purposes of experimentation don’t just write in your favourite genre. Try them all on for size.

Like every other serious writer, over the decades I’ve written thousands of short stories and abandoned even more after four or five hundred words. And yet I have only ever published ten books. Why is that do you think? I’ll tell you – because only that many were worthy of expansion into novella or novel length stories in my opinion, despite what every one of my acid tongued critics have said about them over the years in their blatant attacks in the form of one, two and three star so-called reviews.

Above all, don’t be in a hurry to get published. Learn how to construct a story first. You can attend all the writing workshops, seminars you can find. But believe me when I say that there is no substitute for actually doing it yourself. Work on it until it’s as perfect as you can make it. In other words edit it yourslves!

Know this – despite the myth that writing is easy, it isn’t….

Happy writing.


Click the following for my books on Amazon.com

Click the following for my books on Amazon.co.uk


6 thoughts on “What does it take to be a writer?

  1. One of my (many) problems is convincing myself to get some writing done.

    With so many distractions available, I find me getting pulled away, sucked down the proverbial rabbit hole. I have tried turning off the internet, but I am swayed to turn it back on to access Dictionary.com and its sister site Thesaurus.com. I cannot stand writing the same word with repetitive abandon, and hate seeing the little, red, squiggly lines, which litter what my fingers type onto the page. Most, I know how to fix, but when my dyslexic eyeballs take over, and my two brain cells stop working together, I just can’t seem to work out the proper way to say what I want to convey without the help of one or both of those sites. Then, inevitably, I open Facebook to see what’s going on, and that’s all she wrote. Or, I write, as the case may be. Point is, I really suck at persistence, and conviction? Doesn’t describe me at all. I have been told I write well, but according to this, I must not be a Writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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