It is very difficult to motivate yourself to write something clever and witty when you look at your dashboard and see that you have had one visitor all day. ONE VISITOR! My grandfather has had more than that today – and he has been dead for 60 years!

Do we writers ever ask ourselves who or what are we writing for? I think I can safely say there are more writers around today than at any time in history. Recently somebody came up with a figure of 150 million blogs alone on the internet. I think I will do a Hemingway – get out my shotgun and blow my brains out!

Seriously, why do we do it? It’s not as if most of us are making any money out of it.

George Orwell says one motivation to write is sheer egoism, that we write out of the “desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc.”

It could be a reason I suppose, but it could just as easily be more Orwellian clap-trap.

Maybe we write to change the world? People consume now more than ever in the history of the world. We eat more, we listen to more music, and we consume more information. However, most people have the attention span of a gnat these days, so I don’t think that will wash.

To discover the meaning of life? Victor Frankl, the psychiatrist said “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.  Writers are uniquely gifted to find meaning for themselves and to help others find meaning. In fact, this has always been the main task of storytellers. Every story matters to the person living it, and our job is to tell the universal stories, the stories that reveal the story of every person on the earth”. Sound like a right load of psychiatric bollix to me!

I like Dylan Thomas’ words on the subject;

In my craft or sullen art

Exercised in the still night

When only the moon rages

And the lovers lie abed

With all their griefs in their arms,

I labour by singing light

Not for ambition or bread

Or the strut and trade of charms

On the ivory stages

But for the common wages

Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart

From the raging moon I write

On these spindrift pages                             

Nor for the towering dead

With their nightingales and psalms   

But for the lovers, their arms

Round the griefs of the ages,

Who pay no praise or wages

Nor heed my craft or art.



The first draft over everything is shit– Ernest Hemingway

There speaks one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Some advice, such as the above, is common sense, and some, such as this ‘write about what you know’ is shit. If all writers followed that advice how many great books would have been written? Would Orwell have written 1984? would Terry Pratchett have written any book at all? would Shakespeare have written Julius Caesar?  The list goes on. Write about what you don’t know might be more appropriate!

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham

The following 21 tips may offer some insight – but I wouldn’t bank on it! 

21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors

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Ernest Hemingway got it about right;  There is nothing to writing, you just sit at your typewriter and bleed.


There are 10 types of writers block – I kid you not!

You can’t come up with an idea.

. You have a ton of ideas but can’t commit to any of them, and they all peter out.

You have an outline but you can’t get through this one part of it.

You’re stuck in the middle and have no idea what happens next.

You have a terrible feeling your story took a wrong turn a hundred pages back, and you only just hit a dead end.

You’re bored with all these characters, they won’t do anything.


You keep imagining all the reasons people are going to say your story sucks, and it paralyzes you.

 You can’t think of the right words for what you’re trying to convey in this one paragraph.

 You had this incredibly cool story in your head, and now you’re turning it into words on a screen and it’s suddenly dumb.

. You’re revising your work, and you can’t see your way past all those blocks of text you already wrote.


Oh jaysus, if I didn’t have writers block before I’ve got it now

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The time is near

The clock is queer

I have had more than one beer.

Papa crept downstairs

In the early morning.

The keys are close to the time.

They open the locked cabinet beneath it.

The shotgun is quickly loaded

Two in the chambers just in case

Then the gun is heeled to the wall

And his forehead firmly anchors it.

Hands reach down –

And Bang!

Papa is no more.