Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Why you should give up writing right now

It's a mug's game. Believe me. Here's why:

Nobody takes you seriously

Real person: So you're a writer huh? Wrote anything I would have read?

Writer: I thought you said you didn't read?

Real person: No. Nobody ever does these days, still have I heard of you?

Writer: No, I don't think you would have done...

Real person: Right. So what do you really do?

Writer: I'm a... oh fuck it - I work in insurance...

The money is crap

If you ever make any it's going to be a pittance. The average writer makes 14,000 UKP a year. 14,000. That's right, there's more money in vagrancy.

There's no accounting for taste

There will come a day when you'll finally tell that story as beautifully as you imagined it in your head. It may take you years, it may take you your entire life, but one day you'll do it, and you know what? At least twenty percent of people will still hate it - and that's a conservative estimate – it's more like 25%. Here's the news - most of those 25% work in the publishing industry.

There's a whole industry dedicated to crushing your dreams

The power of fulfilling your dreams lies in the careless hands of others: editors, agents, dramaturgs, directors, critics, reviewers – all there to deter, detest and discourage you from pursuing your hopes and dreams. Most of them failed writers, all of them parasites in the gardens of writers' creativity. All of them self-appointed gatekeepers. Ever bought the Writers and Artists Handbook? Don't bother, it goes like this: 'no unsolicited manuscripts', 'no unsolicited manuscripts', 'no unsolicited manuscripts'. Ok, we get it.

There's a whole heap of rejection

To the point that you either become crushed or sociopathic. Imagine a job where you have thousands of faceless bosses constantly telling you your work isn't good enough, it's just not right, it just doesn't fit, and by the way, you're not getting paid. Dignity at work? That's goddamn inhumane.

So you see, it's time to get the hell out.

Still here? Still going to do it?

Well you best click on the 'join this site' button over there and we'll do it together.


  1. Yep. Still here. No other place to go and nothing else I want to do :)

  2. Oh yes James - I'm addicted to the love of writing, but my writing doesn't always get loved. I won't stop though :-)

    Great blog as always - you keep me going through the rough times.

  3. Vagrancy, you say? Well, the money might be better in vagrancy but the hours are worse...

  4. I'm a glutton for punishment so I'll stick around too ;)

  5. I'll just keep on going, thanks. Great post, James :)

  6. One day the pay-back will come, guys.

  7. Tough nugs, I quit quitting.