Of Writers and Prose: Are you meant to be an author?

Quill-InkWell, isn’t that a loaded question.

I ask this question with the utmost respect, because there are writers out there who have romanticized the writing life and think putting out a book will be the answer to their problems. People don’t want to be a musician, they want to be a rock star, but you don’t pick up a guitar practice for a month and book a concert hall, so why is it a different train of thought when it comes to writing and writers?

Every day I see writers post their struggles with their stories. Some of those struggles I know all too well; problems with a character, dialogue or tense. Sometimes it’s a block brought on by illness or burn out, and sometimes we look at our story and decided that it’s just not working and move on to something else. Every writer I know has dealt with these situations at one point in their career, but I can tell you one problem they’ve never had – coming up with an idea.

“I don’t know what to write about!” I’ve read this more times than I care to let on, and the replies are almost as laughable, “Well maybe you can write a book like [book title], or in [genre]. I hear those are really hot right now.” I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’ve had this conversation. Not one single writer I know has ever complained that they don’t have an idea about what to write; it’s just the opposite. They have too many ideas and worry that they won’t have enough time to get them all out. Stop romanticizing. You’re not Jane Austen for fucks sakes.

I can hear some of you complaining now; that creativity is a learning process. Yes, to a degree, but you cannot learn to be creative. I can learn to use a paint program, but that doesn’t make me a graphic designer, so why do people still think sitting in front of a keyboard will make them a writer? If you don’t know what to write about, knowing the mechanics of storytelling isn’t going to help you any. I’m not going to tell you how to do it either. I’m not here to hand-hold you through the creative process.

Go write a million words, and then we’ll talk some more.


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

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