Tag Archives: Inspiration

Inspiration and Sage Advice for Budding Scribes

26 Aug

I am often asked for tips on “making it in the writing biz.” I am always, of course, too happy to offer inspiration and help to those readers who see me as their hero.

Unfortunately, though, becoming a good writer is quite honestly not really something the average person can do. Good writers are born, not made.  So my first tip to would-be authors is to ensure that your ancestors’ breeding stock is of the highest caliber, that your inheritance is substantial and that your family name alone will guarantee that publishers will fall over themselves to take a look at your work.

Once you’ve done that, the sky is your oyster.  You will need to write, write, write. If you want this to be your vocation, you must commit to actually doing it. A cobbler spends eight hours a day cobbling, a writer must do the same. The profession is called writing for a reason so be prepared to write until you are blue in the hands. Even with my huge back catalog, I still pull my chair up to the desk and watch Christopher type for as many hours a day as I’ve had hot dinners. I do this without complaint: I accept that, as a wordsmith, this is my cross to bear.

Assuming you have already studied my own books, I would suggest that you not really waste more time in reading others’.  Most of what is published today is shite, and writers don’t have the time to be dealing in shite. Be aware of the classics, of course, so that you can participate fully in literary conversations. But don’t let anyone influence you. Doing so is in the most questionable taste. Just this morning when I opened my post, I found a request for my criticism on the work of twenty-year-old poet. I turned the page to see a sonnet beginning “My mistress’ eyes are like a cinnamon bun” and immediately stopped reading.  Above everything, you must be original or you will be destined for the bin, where I confess that poem now resides.

crumpled-paperFinally, I’ve no doubt many a fool has already suggested that you “write what you know.” Though pithy, this recommendation is worthless. Please take a moment to consider this advice from Miss Agatha Whitt-Wellington: look around your room, look at yourself in the mirror, look at the faces of your friends and family. My guess is that after this quick assessment of your life, you’ll realise that “what you know” is hardly worth knowing, let alone writing or reading about. A writer must be honest and I am trying to be honest with you now. Your life is boring and would not make a good book. Don’t be fooled by encouraging spouses, supportive friends or doctors unwilling to diagnose you as delusional.

Writing is a ruthless business so prepare yourself for rejection. Even I myself have had pieces rejected and it is difficult.  There’s no denying that. But if you are as dedicated and as talented a writer as possible, you just may find success. It can happen. And if it doesn’t, there are other things out there for you, I am sure.  Life is a journey, and we must all make our own paths. If writing is the path for you, trust the process and your talent will clear the way of potholes, stray tacks and rodent carcasses. If it turns out that your path is not as creative, don’t fear, for we will all end up dead and alone eventually, darlings.

Now get to work!

This Really Gets My Goat

18 Jun

I have never been one for censorship. You know that. The concept of censorship comes from evil minds and attempts to destroy beauty and freedom. I myself would not be in the enviable position I am in now if censorship had been allowed to take hold of our glorious nation. However, I have recently seen some material being distributed on the Internet which I feel should immediately be removed and banned from ever being seen by human eyes again.

Apparently some explorers have discovered new and endangered species in Ecuador. Now I am all for exploration—some have even referred to me as an explorer of sorts (see Butler Kipling’s article “The Whitt-Wellington Legacy: How One Woman Shaped our Modern World”). Yet I am shocked and dismayed by the photos which have accompanied the reportage of these discoveries.

Firstly, most of these pitiful creatures are amphibians. The word amphibian has its roots in the phrase “both kinds of life.” I do not feel we should look with reverence at animals which, by their very nature, embrace both kinds of life. Those of you who are scholars of psychiatry know that in the nineteenth century, many lunatic asylums were filled to their brims with patients suffering from “amphitis” (later shortened to paranoid schizophrenia), and I am concerned that extolling these new beasts may predicate a new rise in this disorder.

Additionally, despite their impressive clamminess and fancy pants ability to camouflage, they offer us no real inspiration to better ourselves as human beings. This is what the world needs now—-not more frogs. I cannot tell you the amount of times my writing, genorosity and stockings have been cited on acknowledgement pages as the inspiration behind the work of many an author. Will a young person ever look at a katydid and think, “If only my mating call could have as lovely a series of trills as yours does?” I just cannot see this happening.

Most important, though, is the fact that these new species are absolutely disgusting to behold. I simply cannot bring myself to post any of the photographs here as I know you visit this page not to be sickened but to get a brief taste of my glorious life. I have already drafted a letter of complaint to the BBC which felt it necessary to display the offending items. Without wanting to be graphic, I shall just say this: if you ever hear me say that I want to see the inside workings of a glass frog, please immediately put a bullet in my brain. I feel that strongly about the immorality of viewing such images.

Whatever religious beliefs you have about the way in which the Earth was created, you no doubt have already come to appreciate the wonders of the natural world. We all know our planet is populated by amazing things. In future, I  myself would prefer to stay blissfully ignorant of any new discoveries if they insist on being that ugly and moist. Surely we need not have our eyes assaulted by the photographic evidence of God’s greatness. Even He would not expect that of us!