So anyway, I’m in the boozer tonight and this guy walks in I haven’t seen around for a while and we get to talking and it turns out he’s got writing ambitions and needs a bit of advice. I’ve read so many blogs lately that my usual advice of just-write-keep-writing-all-the-time-and-never-stop-writing comes out differently and I find myself telling him to start blogging.
The advice is based on a good friend of mine whose writing career recently took off as a result of the same advice I gave a year or so back. He was a good writer and had done a couple of half-hearted review sites but was lacking focus. So I told him he had to write a new review every week, no matter what, and post it online every Friday afternoon: make an event of it. He did. Then after a while he did two a week. After a year he had a major site on his hands and massive traffic. (He denies my influence in this now but I’ve still got the emails so I can always get them out and tell the world how it was ME, ALL ME who made him what he is).
Anyway, the site attracted magazine and newspaper editors and now he makes a nice living as a journalist. So much so that he now has literary agents calling him up asking him if he wants to write a book; any book.
It’s all about the voice and getting it out there every week. When you do that, people will start to listen to you.
But most people who say they want to write are more in love with the idea of being a writer and aren’t prepared to put in the hard graft of actually writing something every week.
I’ve been listening to these knobheads for years. It normally goes something like this:
KNOBHEAD: So what do you do?
ME: I’m a writer.
KNOBHEAD: Oh really? I’m a writer too!
ME: Cool. What have you written?
KNOBHEAD: Oh, I haven’t written anything yet I’m waiting till I’m 30/40/50* (*delete as applicable) and then I’m going to write my first novel.
ME: That’s really interesting. I have to go and talk to someone else now.
These conversations shouldn’t be happening in this day and age. The advent of free blogging means there’s no excuse not to write now. You can get your work out there and build an audience and get yourself noticed by the agents/editors/producers who are willing to pay you for your voice.
All you have to do is write.