My friends write.
They get published.
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs by writers lately. It seems every writer has a blog. That’s not surprising. Writers want to publicise themselves and their work, and writers can write. So, it seems natural that they should blog.
What do they blog about? About writing and publishing, about authors and publishers, about writing competitions and other news in the writing world. And, of course, about themselves, what they’ve written and what they’ve had published.
They write well, of course, because they’re writers. Sometimes, they’re even humorous. And yet, I’m starting to get bored with these blogs, because of the one thing they leave out: personal struggles. Yes, I know, they write about their pets, their children, the places they live in. But they don’t write anything really personal. We readers can’t tell much about their characters. We don’t know about the hurdles they’ve overcome, or the way their personal lives influenced their writing.
And I wonder how honest they are. They treat their writer friends very well, praising them for their skill and their good fortune when they win competitions or have their books accepted by publishers. But do they really mean that? Aren’t they just a tiny bit jealous of other writers’ triumphs? According to Ann Lamont in her wonderfully humorous and informative guide Bird by Bird, they certainly could be:
Jealousy is such a direct attack on whatever measure of confidence you’ve been able to muster. But if you continue to write, you are probably going to have to deal with it, because some wonderful, dazzling successes are going to happen for some of the most awful, angry, undeserving writers you know – people who are, in other words, not you.
Not that I’m jealous. I haven’t got that far, yet. And I’m not criticising anyone else. I’m just wondering how all of this relates to me. This is what I’ve decided:
Writing involves innovating, pushing boundaries, being courageous. And I’m going to continue writing what I write, because, amongst other reasons, I don’t want to turn this into just another writer’s blog.