NB: Apologies to everyone who sent me emails with questions that I haven't been able to answer recently. It's been a busy week!
a few published writers tell me that I'm far too honest about
being a scribe - sharing the realities of maintaining a living as a
working writer and revealing some of the tips and tactics you can use
to make make writing anything - fiction, non fiction, ebooks etc - a
whole lot easier.
Almost as if
there was something wrong with honesty, like I'm
betraying some sort of unwritten 'code' amongst published
Once upon a time I used to marvel
at the way some published authors behaved as though they were
privy to some 'secret' that the newbie wasn't allowed to
At local writers groups I noticed too that published
authors tended to band together and would actively avoid
talking to those not in their clique - the unpublished in other words.
A long time ago I vowed never to be like
I've always thought that writers, whatever their
status or fortunes, should stick together and
more especially, help each other toward success - whatever that means to you.
I apologize now if I offend
anyone by trying to do that!
It's often said that
writers write to find out what they think about things.
To create some sort of order out of chaos.
their views on life, morals, emotional pain, whatever.
What's curious is that this
process seems not only to have a healing effect, it
can help us realize that we don't feel quite as
strongly about something as we thought we did.
has a way of objectifying the issues.
For example, we may feel anger
and resentment towards a person who has hurt us. Writing
about that person - or fictionalizing them - can often help us see the other person's point
of view, thereby making is easier to deal with our pain.
Quite often I find I didn't know
I had a particular opinion about something until I wrote about it.
Writing helps me organize my thoughts,
helps me clarify where I stand on issues, people, beliefs and other's agendas - often to the point of
finding common ground between seemingly disparate
I think this is a good thing because it
means that writers, whatever their personal prejudices,
have an opportunity to present points of view that are reasonable
and morally sound.
In fact, I would argue that writers
have a duty to do this.
you look at the history of mankind, with its constant wars and
political disasters, you can often trace terrible events back to a
misguided piece of writing - produced either by fanatics, zealots, the
misguided or simply irresponsible people who should have know better.
The Witch's Hammer, was first published in 1486 and, it
could be argued, led to the death of around nine million
people, persecuted by the Catholic Church during the
It's also been argued that
"Mein Kampf" and some of Nietzsche's writings
led indirectly to the two great wars of the last century.
And God only knows how many
people have perished in defense of so called 'holy'
I believe writers have a
responsibility to be rational, clear and circumspect in their
writing, to uphold certain moral and decent values and societal mores.
In our writing, we should strive to be calm and objective at all times.
And never feel the need to incite hate or anger or bitterness.
The last thing we want is
for our words to be taken out of context and
misinterpreted and worse, used to justify any kind of
violence against another person.
Writers should be the good guys.
The calm in the eye of the storm.
The glue that holds the world together.