Today I have the pleasure of having the collaboration of one of my fellow bloggers, Rafa de la Rosa. In case you don’t know who he is, that is the thinking head behind the fantasy blog The Mechanical Clockwork Dragon, if you still don’t know him, visit his blog and put him among your favorites now, because it is very worth it. Rafa was also touched by that article about the bad writer and this is his particular point of view on the matter.
Without further do, I will leave you with his article – the hosts for him, I am not responsible.
The shitty writer according to Clockwork Dragon
Guest on one of my reference blogs. When Jaume told me that I could write to Excentrya I couldn’t believe it. I was wishing I could write something good, something dazzling … but all I could write was shit.
Have you ever felt that you are not doing the right thing in life? That you’re not worth your job, that everything you do is shit? It happens to us writers constantly; It has happened to me preparing this post, without going any further. Every two out of three we suffer a rejection, a bad review, we get stuck in a scene … Anything that tells us that you are a bad writer,a shitty writer.
You’re not worth shit as a writer
Life is hard and you have to start admitting your limits. We are clumsy, we are bad at writing. Yes, the one who’s sulking his face while reading this too? You, in fact, are even worse because you do not realize the stink that releases what you write.
If you don’t believe me, find something you wrote a long time ago and reread it. I leave you a little, calm that I wait for you to return.
I guess after reading that you will have realized how badly you write. Quiet, that happens to everyone, I have around my fanfics of Twilight to remind me what is to disgust (and laughter, too much laughter) and nothing happens.
“Wait! How is nothing wrong? You just told me I’m not worth shit as a writer. I’m bad at writing! ‘Well yes, you are, but absolutely nothing happens. Quite possibly because you will never be perfect and, if you do it right, you will always see flaws in your texts.
It will seem that I am giving you mixed messages, that if you do it right you will see failures. If you see failures, it indicates that you are on the right track, that you have made progress and that you want to continue improving as a ghost writer. If you don’t see them, you’ve gotten stuck and have gotten used to the rotten smell of your texts.
Accepting that you suck will make you write better
I know the case of people who do not write because “they are not good at it.” They are aware of how difficult it is to write, they have tried and failed. They have written something, even a few sentences, and have noticed how forced they sounded, how artificial they were and how lacking in grace. Phrases that suck.
And for that alone they decide not to continue doing it. First of all, I will say that they are fully entitled. But if you want to write, if you want to be a writer, the best thing is to accept that you are disgusting and keep writing despite it. That is why I have put it for you with cute little flowers in the cover image, so that it is easier for you to assimilate it.
Want to be a Writer According Clockwork Dragon
Little by little you will notice that the disgust you give is less. Then you will strive to learn to write better, you will train as a writer, you will read books that will help you write better (these are my three favorite books for writers, by the way). Once you have done that, you will see new glitches. You’ll catch new shitty smells in what you write and do whatever it takes to correct it. Because we are all mediocrewriters and the sooner we accept it, the better.
Progressively the percentage of the population sensitive to plague in your texts will be reduced. An expert might do a professional reading of your book and see flaws you don’t even see, but if you’ve tried hard enough, the average reader will enjoy your book without noticing the smell.
Clean up the text
It is so. The text can be disgusting from its base, with a spelling and grammar that pull back from the plague. This is easy to fix (and a good concealer finishes brightening, by the way). It is perhaps the first thing a reader will also notice (and what will make him wrinkle his nose annoyed by the stink).
Then come the elimination of clichés (that a reader of the genre will notice instantly), of flat and boring characters, of meaningless plots, of Deus ex Machina … Little by little you will remove layers of plague and your readers will read the book without wrinkling the nose.
But by removing those layers of plague you will discover new ones. A continuous advance to clean your shit, learn about how will Loneliness of Self-Publishing
How much is shit worth?
I start this article saying that we are not worth shit as writers. That we are bad writers. Good. Voucher. But how much does shit cost? Because, since we have to improve, at least we are going to set a goal with the help of Clockwork Dragon.
Well, it turns out that shit is much more expensive than you might think. There is a guy out there (a bit gritty in the head in my opinion) who is dedicated to collecting excrement of celebrities and selling them. A serving of Justin Bieber poop can cost about $ 100.
Wow … it will be difficult to be worth shit, because at the moment the most I have earned writing is not enough for the euro.
Earned Through Writing with Clockwork Dragon
Anyway, if you can sell enough to be a shitty writer ($ 100 ~ € 85), you’d be basic shit. And we want to be professional shitty writers. So let’s aim high.
In 1961, Piero Manzoni (an Italian artist) made a work of art that consisted of 90 cans with poop. The work, which he called Mierda, reached an amazing value in the market. A single can was sold for € 124,000 in 2007.
Hey, hey, WAIT! So much?” Well yes, both. So we have a long way to go to be shitty writers. You can think about it in phases: manage to sell the equivalent of Justin Bieber poop this month, for example.
But before that you have to keep writing, keep improving. I don’t stop doing it, day after day, stinking a little less every day. We have permission to disgust, as they say in The Write Practice, but we must try a little harder to remove layers of plague.
Because that’s the key to keep moving forward, a little bit every day. Challenge ourselves that are a bit more difficult than what we have already done, detect a new undesirable smell in our text. This is what will help us to enter a state of flow, as Diana P. Morales explains so well.
Write a lot of shit to get something decent
I’ve been writing micro-stories for a long time, a little less I’ve been writing them under the hashtag # Cuentos (and I post them on both Twitter and Facebook). The fact is that writing these scraps of minimal fiction I have realized that some jewels come out of the shit.
I publish a Mechanical Story a day, which is about thirty a month. Of course, many are mediocre, they suck, sometimes they have errors, other times it is not clear what I want to tell … And look at how I make an effort and correct and retouch them so that they look good. The fact is that I produce a lot. Lots of shit, I mean. But among all of it there are some stories that hit it, that my readers love (who always support me a lot with the macabre of my stories). Those jewels among the rest of the shit only come up because I’ve written everything else.
I mean, to get anything good I had to write a lot of shit. With the stories I see it easy, but it is applicable to everything else. Of thirty sentences that I write of a novel, 90% will be shit (shit that later has to be rewritten, by the way).
So if you want to get out of this quagmire, if you want to write something good, what you have to do is get everything else out first. Write, produce. Produce a lot, write more like Clockwork Dragon. And of everything, surely something shines.
I hope I have not depressed you with this article. You’re not worth shit as a writer, but don’t worry: me either. Very few can have the pleasure of saying they are shitty writers, but they’ve gotten into that position by working it out. Writing, publishing. Never giving up.