I have come to the conclusion that there are far too many people writing books. I know, I know, who am I to judge, but it seems that everywhere I turn, there are more people writing books. I go to writers’ meetings, I log onto writers websites, I read the comments on agent’s blogs…and there are writers everywhere. They are coming out of the woodwork!
Look, folks, not all of us can succeed at this thing. Some of us are going to fail. If everyone who thought he or she was going to be a famous writer, was…there would be 100x the amount of books out there and no one would be able to buy them all!
I know this sounds a bit harsh, and it probably sounds like I think I am better than others, but honestly, that’s not what I am trying to say or do. Hell, I’m not even sure I know what I am saying, but there’s got to be a ton of crappy writers out there, just typing away on their keyboards.
Stephen King said: “[W]hile it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one.”
Where are you on that pyramid? Where am I? I think every writer who is not part of a writers’ group, needs to become part of one, quick! I’m being very serious here. You need other people who take writing seriously to look at your work with a discerning eye, and not just your mom, or your neighbor, Tom.
I firmly believe that all writers should have their stories vivisected harshly. If you can’t handle the heat, you really need to get out of the kitchen and make way for those of us who can. You want to rip my story up? Do it! Don’t tell me what I am doing right, tell me what I am messing up. Even the most base reader can tell you if your story doesn’t work. They might not be able to tell you why, but they can at least read it and tell you if it sucked or not.
When seeking others to read your work, you must tell them to be brutally honest with you. If they are not, then you are wasting both of your time.
Now, here’s the point of the matter. If your readers say your writing sucks, and they will if they are honest, and you are not willing to go back and completely revise the damnable thing, then you need to get out of the arena of “writing”. You need to head back to the weeds with the other people who simply enjoy reading. If not, you’re wasting your time, and the resources of the other people who you present yourself as a writer to.
Am I the sucky writer? Only others can tell, not me. But I’m willing to find out one way or another. If I suck, then I shall bow out gracefully and just become a consumer of the word, not a creator of it.