Characters, I think I just rambled, Life, On Writing

You Don’t Have to Own a Cat

I fled up the garden and into the pottery studio, sat on the lid of a portable toilet and consumed damsons. By the time I had finished praying, pondering and spitting the pips out, Act Three had been hashed out.

damsonsSometimes, sitting down and facing a piece of paper or a computer screen just isn’t the thing. Sometimes, grand ideas and plot points come whilst washing up. Sometimes they come when talking, singing.

Ideas don’t wait politely to be acknowledged. They leap out and present themselves to you and demand your attention.

Want to know something? All those ‘writers are …’ and ‘writers do …’ on Pinterest boards, in books, on blogs … you don’t have to ‘be’ them.

Sure, to be a writer, you have to write. It’s a fundamental truth. But to be a writer you don’t have to own a cat, drink tea, write into the wee hours, possess an ‘artistic temperament’, be wonderful at spelling or brand yourself as an introvert.

Honestly, you don’t.

You don’t have to hear your characters voices in your head or weep as you write. You don’t have to have read a thousand different ‘how to write books’. You don’t have to plan out your character’s back story in meticulous detail.

You have to write. That is all.

Sure, reading craft books can help you. Planning out elaborate characters may be your thing. And sure, you may have a rusty old typewriter, own a cat named Shakespeare, drink obscure teas and hold grand debates with your characters. That’s wonderful.

Just, you know, be yourself. You don’t have to change yourself into a Pinterest board. You don’t have to be a ‘Writer’ as defined by others.

Be your definition.

And write.

Excuse me, I’ve got to get rid of those pips.

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3 thoughts on “You Don’t Have to Own a Cat”

  1. It’s really silly how upset I get if I’m not doing “writerly things,” especially since the whole point of art is to do things your own way!

    1. It’s true – it is almost like you aren’t a legitimate writer if you don’t do such and such. But we’ve got to beat the fact into our minds that we are writers – because we write. Everything else is down to the individual.

      Thank you for commenting : )

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