Monday, April 10, 2006

The Craft

My, my, isn't there just a buzz and hum across the writing blogosphere at the moment. I'm talking about the debates on the right to call yourself a 'writer'. There are only two catagories - published and un-published, and the latter are clawing tooth and nail to get once step into the hallowed halls of fame, or even just past the front door.
Miss Snark is batting the flies left and right (as usual) as to the question of adding an RWA PRO to a submission. Her battlion of snarksters are (as usual) agreeing with every word and grovelling for mistakes made - all part of the game, I know, but we, the un-washed, un-published, the un-noticed can understand the pressure to use any and all of the few tools at our disposal to get ahead.
When I first started on this path little did I realise that I had chosen (it chose me actually) one of the hardest careers to get into. My day job CV glows with training and experience and I get the chance to blind the prospective employer with my Goddess like skills face to face. My writing CV on the other hand, looks pitiful and I've been 'training' for longer than it takes to aquire a degree in law!! Does this make me a good writer? No, of course it doesn't. It has given me the time to learn my craft and to aquire the confidence that I need in order to get to my eventual goal. When I wrote my first novel I was filled with a smugness that led me to approach a friend of a friend who was once in the publishing business. His opening comment was "Your structuring leaves a lot to be desired, you have not thought through your plot and your characters are damp" at this point I was reaching for the knife drawer but he went on " you have the makings of a good writer, a really good writer, you have a strong storyteller within, learn your craft and you stand a chance". These words now sit above my pooter as I continue to hone my skills.
The other day, when I met someone I had not seen for a while, I realised afterwards that I had referred to myself as a 'writer' before updating my day job. So there! -I write therefore I am!!

4 comments:

Cheesm said...

I think whether or not one can call oneself an 'author' maybe dependant on publication, whether paid, unpaid or whatnot, but if one writes, one is a writer, in the same way that if one reads they are a reader, and the only person who can choose to deny that title would be the person involved. I can run, but i wouldn't want people calling me a runner.

Have you checked out www.macmillannewwriters.co.uk ?

Minx said...

Thank you Mr Cheesm Buntifer. I am at this very moment checking out the above. Shameless has already offered up his sacrificial lamb and it is all encouraging. MNW has been slated for giving the plebs a sneaky route past the Gatekeepers but it had to come!!
Oh, and I don't do running. I took it up once in order to shift some hippage but I only managed to run to the shop, buy a cream cake and run home again!!

Sharon J said...

LOL at above comment. Cream cake...shop... sounds all too familiar :-) I used to go to the fitness centre with a friend every Friday morning. We'd swim, work out and then pig out on coffee and cream cakes. It worked for us :-)

Anyhoo... the craft... writer or not. As cheesm said, I think it's entirely up to you what you call yourself. I call myself a writer because that's what I am - I write for my living. However, I'm not a novelist and wouldn't call myself one. If I ever have a book published, I may call myself a novelist, but probably not. An author? No, probably not that either. Why? Because both are too boxed in... they leave no room for any other kind of writing. Writer... that suits me fine :)

~Sharon J

Minx said...

I am calling myself 'Large Hipped Sassy Mamma' at this present moment and not one of you can argue with me!!!