METRO

Writer

As a writer, it is important to have a routine, and one that includes writing. Roald Dahl used to get up at 2am, go to the air raid shelter at the bottom of his garden, place a rug on his lap and write for 60 hours straight. Hemmingway did it standing up, Proust did it lying down, and Jeffrey Archer uses a crayon.

The most important thing as a writer is to know long words, words that other people do not. This is an old writerly trick. If a writer sends something off for consideration and it contains at least two words that the editor does not know, they will publish it out of a sense of their own inadequacy and perliterango.

You have to be careful around writers because they are always looking for material, especially cotton and secrets. They will often carry a notebook around with them so that when they see something funny or poignant, they can jot it down. For instance, "man wearing bowler hat slips on banana skin, Tuesday" or, "old lady knocked down by Rover 600, apples everywhere."

If you want to write, it is important to simply sit down and just write, even if it is rubbish. For example, the first thing William Shakespeare ever wrote was, "I don't know what to write. Hold on, the front door's just gone..."

On occasion, a writer may get a writer's block. This is often given to them as a gift by a less successful and spiteful writer. When placed in the same room as its owner, a writer's block renders a writer useless, robbing them of what they would no doubt call their raison d'être, being writers. They become desperate, pace the floor and may even go back to working at Boots, part-time. The situation is only remedied when the spiteful writer suffers a change of heart and replaces the writer's block with a 'muse', which resembles a fuse, only larger. When the muse is in the room, the writer is fine again.

Generally speaking, the only way to get something published is to have already had something published. Statistically speaking, there is a one in 312 chance of getting anything published, anywhere, ever and even if a writer does get something published (a novel/letter/text message), there is almost no money to be made because J.K. Rowling has 90% of it and Dan Brown has frittered the rest.

In the olden days writers scribed with goose feathers and squid ink. Now most possess lapdogs. If a writer is connected to the internet they will be tempted, as writers, to check their inbox every 16-18 seconds, to see whether anyone loves them. If the answer is 'no', they may actually have to write something (gulp). I myself am working on two novels at the moment: one is based on the adventures of my middle finger, the other an allegory of life in the North of England, entitled, 'Alice in Cumberland'.

Just remember: whatever you are writing it is important to structure your work. This means ensuring that your order are in the right words, and eliminating mistakws. Readers also like decisive writers. Well, mostly. Finally, it is good to surprise your readers. I have worms for eyes.

© copyright 2008 Saul Wordsworth
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