Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Kate Bracy's 5 Reasons NOT to Become a Writer #AmWriting #WriteTip #SelfPub

Saturday, September 6, 2014

5 Reasons NOT to Become a Writer

Everyone thinks they can write. It astounds me that people who would never -- and I mean if the fate of the free world depended on it – stand up and sing karaoke, will write a blog and wait expectantly for it to be picked up by major media. People think that being smart or articulate translates directly into being a good writer. It doesn’t. And, in fact, you will be very disheartened if you post your first blog based on something that got a lot of laughs in the office lunch room, and suddenly find yourself being attacked by opinion trolls as well as the grammar police. Writing because you think “anyone can do it” is like standing up at that karaoke mic and finding out how much better you sound in the shower.

There are lots of reasons to write – I’m guilty of all of them. And there are lots of reasons to step away from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and consider other options. Here are five reasons to take up golf instead.

Reason #1

Writing is unattractive. Dorothy Allison, in a keynote address at a writing conference said, “I do not want people visiting me at my home. I don’t wash my hair often enough for that.” I understood completely. When you are really in the thick of writing, you will be doing it instead of showering, gargling, and other basic hygiene activities. Do NOT pay a surprise visit to a writer who is only on chapter four. It is not pretty.

Reason #2:

Being mean is just as bad on paper as it is in person. Do not become a writer to get back at your [fill in the blank]. Anne Lamott famously said, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” I adore Anne, and I have to admit that if she is getting even with someone, she is doing it in a very humble, hilarious and relatable way. But if you are railing against the Catholic Church, identifying your last boyfriend by his birthmark or an “in” joke, or skewering your mom because she left you at the neighbor’s house to go play bridge, you will find that people – even the ones who laugh at your jokes – are turned off by your mean spiritedness. Besides that, you will be forced to live with your bitter self at the end of the day, and I don’t wish that on anyone.

Reason #3

Writing is a home-wrecker. If you are any good at it, and if you are serious about writing as a career or an art, you will neglect your partner, your children, your pets and your parents. Once you are in the spell, it can be as disastrous as drug relapse. If you can’t afford marriage counseling, don’t start that novel.

Reason #4

Whatever you write, it will be wrong. While theoretically you are fine with “not being able to please all of the people all of the time,” the reality of hearing from total strangers how bad your writing is, or how off-base your ideas are, or how predictable the ending was, all adds up to a deep understanding of Sylvia Plath’s choices. Don’t put it out there if you don’t want to hear others’ opinions about how you did or didn’t bring them to rapture.

Reason #5

Writing is bad for your health. Writing is not aerobic. Despite the new trend for treadmill desks, writing does not increase your cardiovascular health. You will sit for many hours with bad posture and M&Ms in a bowl on the desk. If you ignore my advice and start writing anyway, be prepared to ask the age-old writer’s question: “Does this essay collection make my ass look big?” (See “Reason #4” above, because someone will inevitably answer, “Yes.”

There. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own risk. I know that chances are that you’ll heed these cautions about as well as I heeded those of the Catholic nuns in my youth. In that case, be sure to shower before you meet with your New York agent; dedicate the book to your neglected partner; and wear a clean shirt for the book jacket photo. No one needs to know the truth.


Winner of four independent publishing awards, including the IndieReader Discovery Award in Women's Fiction, this debut novel hits the mark for smart, discerning readers.

There's nothing about her life that doesn't need a little work, so Melanie Davis thinks of herself as a "fixer-upper." Her history with men leaves her gun shy; her teenaged daughter can't string two civil words together; her best friend Donna just found out she has a life-threatening illness. When Donna also reveals a decades-old secret that still haunts her, Melanie makes it her mission to solve the mystery and reunite Donna with a precious link to her past - before it's too late. 

Along the way Melanie discovers with startling clarity the pricelessness of love and friendship. With a finely-tuned emotional compass, Kate Bracy carries us through a trial-by-illness as funny as it is touching. Her narrator, Melanie, comes to realize the enduring power of love - between men and women, between mothers and daughters, between friends. Through her vivid, endearing characters Bracy creates a small-town world in northern New York where old loves rekindle, friendships prevail, and secret wounds are finally healed. This debut novel will leave you with an awakened heart and a strong urge to send postcards to all the people you love.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Women's Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kate Bracy through Facebook


Post a Comment