Writing

I am a writer.  This probably comes as no surprise since I write a blog, but I consider it to be one of the core elements of my being.  I must write at least two or three thousand words every day, be it on this blog, fiction, diaries or textual communication.  This is something I take for granted, but every now and then I remember that people actually exist who don’t like writing and try to avoid it.  I can’t imagine how empty a life that would be, but each to their own I suppose.

Thing is, I like to call myself a writer but does simply writing a set number of words actually make someone a writer?  I seem to have a hierarchy when it comes to the importance of the words I write:

  1. Fiction
  2. Blogs
  3. Diaries
  4. Textual communication

Interestingly, the number of words I typically write for each category becomes fewer as you advance up the hierarchy.  There’s a similar pattern to the amount of effort I put in.  But surely, if I value the fiction I write more than blogs then I ought to prioritise that?  Yet I clearly don’t, considering blog posts regularly amount to over 500 words whereas the most fiction I’ve ever managed to write in one day, in the last few months, is 429 words (yes, I do keep count…).  This has sparked a bit of an internal crisis within me: How can I be a writer if I don’t write what I claim to be worth writing?  Do I like the idea of being a writer more than actually writing?  Am I a fraud?*

The natural result of this crisis is to focus more energy into my fiction, which is largely my current strategy.  That’s one reason why I’ve reduced the number of blogs I expect myself to produce each week, and it’s kind of working.  There’s been a gradual improvement to my progress in fiction, with my current project soon to reach 4,000 words.  I’m a writer once more!  But I shan’t neglect this blog either; it’s all about striking the right balance.

Arguably, there’s nothing more significant in the labeling of someone as a writer than getting work published.  Which brings me to the most exciting announcement of this post: I’m now a published author!  Well.  Sort of.  I’ve had a short story published in a local anthology, Wirds fae da Wastside.  I haven’t yet held in my hands a finalised copy but it will be pleasantly strange to see my name in print once I get that opportunity.  It all starts here!

*Intense self-doubt is another symptom of being a writer, so I hear, so perhaps I shouldn’t worry too much.

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The Problem with Reviews

This is an announcement to all 60 of my followers (60!  That’s incredible!  If even a fifth of you aren’t spambots I’d be thrilled) to say that I’m probably going to stop writing reviews for films, TV shows and books.  This is for a few reasons:

  1. Simply, I’m not enjoying them.  I find them a bit of a slog to write.  While it’s fun to completely hammer something I dislike or to highly praise something I love, there’s only so many ways I can say, “It was alright”, and it’s getting boring trying to think of them all.
  2. Perhaps I’m just not great at reviewing, I don’t know, but I found myself generally churning out the formulaic, “I liked this because…” “This didn’t please me because…” making sure to cover Plot, Characters, Themes, Style/Direction, etc.  It’s beginning to feel like if you replaced the nouns of my reviews you’d basically be left with identical templates.  A couple of reviews managed to break free of this mould but most don’t.
  3. They’ve brought out the worst of my obsessive nature.  When starting films or reading books I’ve been thinking, “Oh, I need to review this after.”  Which sort of adds stress and, when I’m busy, has actually discouraged me from reading or watching films – which is always a bad thing!

This doesn’t mean I’ll never write a review again, but I am going to stop churning them out as I have been.  It also definitely isn’t an end to my blog posts on literature and films; these are still some of my favourite topics and, I’m hoping, this will allow me to create more thoughtful and deeper analyses/interpretations of various works.  I still plan to publish at least one post a day until September and these will still largely be divided between the Topic Triumvirate of Social Sciences/My Life/Literature and Films.