Make sure that you are good at writing
That was the main advice I found in an article on the Guardians blog for writers.
The article was entitled something like 'How to increase your blog traffic'. And, yes, I get it. No one will tell their friends about a shit blog they're reading. Unless its REALLY shit. Haha, have a look at this looser!
But still. Isn't that the very WORST advice you could possibly give a writer? Or is that just me? Am I the only one who looked at the words on the top of this page and, after scrunching up my eyebrows, went through three thoughts in quick succession:
1. But of course you have to be GOOD at writing. Who is this idiot!??
2. Actually, he is a REAL writer. An ACTUAL journalist. He has probably seen a lot of shit in his time. He KNOWS.
3. Damn it. I hope he never sees my blog! I just write for the fun of it, and of course there are heaps of shit lying around amongst the pages of my blog! I need to become a GOOD writer. Now.
So, here I am. A thursday night just like any. This is when I normally sit down in my ugly wicker chair with its owl-shaped pillow. I normally choose the simplest text editor, and maximise it to cover the whole laptop screen. Pretend I've got a typewriter. This is when the excitement starts! When I might brows through my folder of stories, ideas and thoughts. Will I pick an old one, and perhaps touch it up a bit? Or will I sit down with the blank page, and just see where the story takes me? It is normally the latter. For a simple reason - For the indescribable joy of loosing myself into a story. A story I don't know yet. Eagerly awaiting the characters take form in front of me. I love it.
But not today.
Like an experienced hunter my mind brutally shoots down every idea that surfaces from the dense under growth of the subconscious. Too pretentious. Too dull. Too intricate. Clay pigeon shards fall to the ground.
Thank you, reverend Guardian Expert™, for your excellent recommendations. For not only pointing out the bleeding obvious, but doing so in a manner that ruins dreams.
Because you are WRONG.
First of all; To say that you have found an especially good story, is just about as useful as saying you have found an extra tasty piece of pickled herring - only valid if you happen to like pickled herring.
You do not need to be good at all. In fact, most of the blogs I follow have, what I consider, quite poor writing style. But they are all passionate. They all convey ideas. They all inspire.
Dear Guardian Expert™, gone are the day when only the GOOD things were published, as decided by the people who KNOW. I welcome you to the Information Era, where everyone gets the chance they take for themselves. Where everyone can do what they love, and GIVE IT A GO.
Now I am going to pull myself together, stop ranting, and go out into the mossy grounds of a very dark, yet beautiful, pine forest and rummage around the undergrowth. Perhaps I will cut myself on broken bits of clay. But I will keep looking for a shard of inspiration, passion, and perhaps even joy.
I'll let you know.