Saturday, January 17, 2009


I am an amateur and I've decided I'm going to stay that way. Sure, I like writing. Sure, I've done Nano a few times and produced a whole heap of words. I admit that I love the idea of holding a book in my hands with my name on the front cover, knowing that my words would be read by thousands of people.

The truth is that we can't all be professionals. My husband plays guitar and no one asks him when his next hit single is coming out. I'm going to treat my writing in the same way, and not get caught up in thinking about what might happen if I got published.

Oddly enough, I think I'm more likely to actually do some writing when I take this attitude. I always work best when I think of it as playing.

So I'm officially not part of the competition in the slush pile. All the more room for you.


Bevie said...

"I always work best when I think of it as playing.

You're right, Fairy. That's when I write my best, too. When I worry whether somebody else may/may not like what I've written, I write poorly - or not at all.

Good advice.

fairyhedgehog said...

I suppose it's a bit like the post freddie found about the middle finger.

Whirlochre said...

You can't beat carefree piddling about.

I have to confess, since I've started researching agents and taking myself seriously, there have been more days when I've written very little out of a desire to 'do it right'.

So I'm hoping to spend a little more time down the pub with a notepad. That seemed to work...

fairyhedgehog said...

"Carefree piddling about" - that's it exactly.

Have fun down the pub!

Robin B. said...

The pub with a notepad. Now that sounds good.

Sylvia said...

GAH! I suddenly had a brief flash of a bunch of writers piddling at the pub and now my brain hurts.

I do think this is well put.

Someone looked at Can't Backspace and said "are you looking to make a book out of it?"

What the hell?

No, it's a blog, it's a place to have fun, can't people post anything anymore without having to ascribe a value?

Bevie said...

"it's a blog, it's a place to have fun"

Speaking of "well put", Sylvia.

Bee said...

I'm just an amateur, too! I've never felt comfortable "selling" anyway. :)

PJD said...

LOL, Sylvia! Can't wait to piddle down at the pub with you all in April.

I doubt I will ever reach the "professional" stage in my writing--that is, earning my primary living with it--I do hope some day to play semi-pro. I'm happy to stay amateur at soccer, but I want more from my writing. Some day.

Besides, if you aren't trying to be a professional, how can you take tax deductions for lattes, "research" trips to foreign lands, and laptops?

fairyhedgehog said...

Yay! to piddling down the pub in April. Those of you who can't join us can piddle in your own local and we'll all raise a glass to each other. (For teetotallers: you can just as easily toast in orange juice or lemonade.)

It's funny, I'm quite happy to take money for counselling but that is work. If I make writing into work then I don't do it.

JaneyV said...

I'm a world-class piddler. I'm finding my feet and enjoying the journey. If, at the end, I've produced something worth chasing the publishing deal with then I probably will, but like you Fairy I enjoy my job and I love that writing is fun.

Here's to piddling down the Pub in April. Sláinte!

fairyhedgehog said...

Enjoying the journey is the point, I agree.

Stacy said...

Yeah, that's why the first draft is always so much fun for me. Pure play.

It's the editing process that feels like work to me.

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