Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

INK: Eight Rules To A Better Book by RS Guthrie

Saturday, June 22, 2013

“There is nothing to writing.

All you do is sit down

at a typewriter and bleed.”

~ Ernest Hemingway

You may have started reading this book knowing full well who I am. There’s also a decent chance you don’t. There are a lot of successful writers out there who no one knows. Not their names; not their work; not their skillset, strengths, weaknesses, or potential. None of it. And it’s a shame. Because when you enter any 5-star hotel through the kitchen first, it will never appear to you as vivid and real and authentic as it would if you’d been ushered in by the valet and the doorman.

Writers whose names are not household words are a differing bunch. Most of us, we’ve definitely come in through the kitchen downstairs. Some of them I just know have been writing for years and have so many secrets figured out and yet they’re still right there with you, sitting on the same park benches outside the hotel, throwing the same stale breadcrumbs at the same damn pigeons, day in and day out.

Others, they look like they’ve just been captured by the enemy and thrown in a P.O.W. camp. They’re terrified and they really don’t mind telling you about it. Neither type is good or bad, right or wrong, particularly successful or unsuccessful (because first we’d have to all agree on a standard definition for “success”, and if you’ve ever tried to get that done, it’s not nearly as easy a task as you might think).

The one thing that binds most of us—some call us Indies, but I prefer Unknowns because every author who does not have a well-known name faces the same challenges as the rest of us—is that our books could always be better. We are also in many ways independent writers, but that could be because you are self-published, or because you are traditionally published but responsible for your own marketing (yep, happens all the time). The true camaraderie is that we each hold our destiny in the very hands that must, eventually at least, also produce it. At times, particularly in the beginning, we may also hold any one (or all) of the positions in our small little company:




Cover Designer

Marketing V.P.

Accounting V.P.

Accounts Payable V.P.

Custodian (for all that virtual crumpled paper)

You get the idea. We’re on our own, at least to a degree, thus our independence. And at some point very early in the Unknown writer’s journey, usually very early and in one form or another, we each think the same thing:

No one told me independence would feel so much like fear.

Well, Hemingway did. And honestly so did a lot of other writers. Perhaps they didn’t tell you outright, but any profession that can be compared to spending an evening bleeding, well, let’s just say fear might be a logical conclusion.

But that’s one of the first things you must conquer. That and this ridiculous concept of “I aspire to be a writer”. If you sit down at the computer and bleed, you’re a writer. In fact, if you’ve been rejected, downtrodden, unappreciated, underpaid, ignored, laughed at, brushed off, called crazy, yet still love words and the way it makes you feel to put them on the blank page; also if you’ve felt useless, talentless, witless, inspired, uninspired, full of words or bereft of them, you’re likely more a writer than anything else.

(By the way, we’re going to use “computer” for “typewriter” from here on in, unless it’s in a direct quote—no offense to Ernest but currently most of us bleed on our keyboards, which is not a terrible thing because keyboards are relatively inexpensive to replace.)

Back to the “aspiring to be a writer” nonsense. If you want to change it to something more specific like “aspiring to be paid a lot of money for each brilliant word that flies off my fingertips” then you have my blessing and you are absolutely correct. Otherwise, in all your despair and rejection, if you are writing, my friend, congratulations:

You are a writer.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – NonFiction / Writing

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with RS Guthrie on Facebook


Website 2


Post a Comment