Writing In Theory & Practice: B.O.B.


“Belligerent Old Bastard”

Ideas are never in short supply, or rather, shouldn’t be if you’re to be a writer. If you fancy yourself one and yet you can’t seem to come up with something to write about, well then, I suppose you’re just kidding yourself, no? Lots of people want to be writers, but few are willing to do the work. You know, the whole setting your ass down in the chair and bloody banging the keys till your fingers are raw. For those of you in the thick of it, how many times have you heard this one ā€” you’re at a party or some such and the subject of you being a wrangler of words comes up, and invariably some tool or skirt says, “I’ve always wanted to write a book”. Then why haven’t ya? The answer is because it’s bloody hard, that’s why. Churning out a hundred thousand words, give or take, is a chore. It demands commitment. It demands sacrifice. And in the end, it might not be worth a piss. If you’re hiccuping on the gods be damned “idea”, then get out of the game now, because that’s the easy part. Hellfire, I have more ideas than I could ever get down on paper, and forget the better part of them before I’ve had my morning caffeine fix.

Yes, this is me being an ass. Why? Well, I guess you could blame it on a savage month of bitter disappointment coupled by one too many emails from would-be writers, and I get more than my fair share, asking, more often than not, “where do you get your ideas from?”. From the bloody idea fairy, that’s where. I also get more than a few of the “I have this great idea for a book ā€” I’ll give it to you, you write it, and we’ll share the credit/split the money/or what-not” variety.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I do enjoy mentoring young (or not so young) writers. I love talking shop. I love the whole writing process and admire each and every numbskull (like myself) who is fool enough to go to war in the genre trenches.

Look, if you’re not sure what you want to write about, then you’re not ready. When the ideas start churning, then it’s time to punch the clock and go to work. It’s really that simple, kids.

I feel much better for having unloaded all that. Tomorrow I’ll be back to my more amiable self, patiently answering the idea question with some innocuous platitude or another, bolstering someone’s confidence. Just. Not. Today.


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