Over the weekend the cover of Sydney Morning Herald's Spectrum caught my eye and it reminded me of a small piece I wrote on a now extinct blog. The Spectrum article in question was DBC Pierre on how to be an author: Write in a fever, rewrite in a cardigan, and it inspired me to go back and find my draft post to see if my feelings about emerging writers had changed. Turns out, it is as relevant as ever and I post it now for your contemplation.
The following words were first published in 2015 and I’m 199% sure I was supposed to be writing something else as the time…
Last week I was amongst a very appreciative audience listening to Matthew Weiner talk all things Mad Men. Were there any emerging writers in the house? Judging from the audiences’ questions, I would say a fair few.
I don’t think I’ve heard the question “What advice would you give emerging writers?” reconstructed so many times in my life. Ok. That may be a slight exaggeration but I get why emerging writers are so desperate to ask that question.
I am an emerging writer. I heard Alan Ball and George RR Martin talk at the Opera House, Vince Gilligan and Matthew Weiner at Sydney Town Hall and up until last week I was one of those people who would have asked the same question.
I’ve read The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters – Insider Secrets from Hollywood’s Top Writers by Karl Iglesias and wondered a) why is the title so long and b) why none of these habits worked for me.
What I have learnt is there is no secret formula and the only sure road to a writing career is to glue your butt into a chair and get writing. So hop to it fellow emerging writers, if you want to be a writer, write! Or to quote Matthew Weiner, “…if you can write, you can change your life.”
Belinda Nowell is the author of the children’s book, Who’s Got a Normal Family? She still reads every self-help book about writing out of sheer procrastination.